Minister: Economy will see a 5.5 percent improvement this year

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (R) and Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed (L) attend the launch of the VIA development project on January 4, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed states the Maldivian economy will see an improvement of 5.5 percent this year.

In a post on X on Monday, Minister Saeed said the Maldives had been dropped to a dangerous financial state when President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu assumed office. To overcome this, the Minister said the government was repaying loans and unpaid bills.

He further said the Maldivian economy will see an improvement this year, adding the government has resumed depositing dollars to the Sovereign Development Fund (SDF).

SDF was incepted in 2017 during former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s administration to accumulate funds to ease a blow to the economy that could arise following repayments of major loans withdrawn for projects and for emergency circumstances.

A large sum of the US dollars in SDF was converted to Maldivian Rufiyaa during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the need for  US dollars during the pandemic. 

Converting the sum back to US dollars is a pledge in the ‘Hafutha 14’ roadmap of the current administration containing its pledges for the first 100 days in office.

President Muizzu announced the resumption of depositing dollars to SDF on February 5th.

Minister Saeed made the remark on X following a statement by the Finance Ministry over rumors of the Bank of Maldives (BML)’s decision to lower the limit for US dollar transactions on the bank’s debit and credit cards.

A source from BML confirmed to Sun the bank has decided to lower its card limits, and will make an official announcement, soon.

Finance Ministry, in their statement, said BML has assured that they have not yet decided to lower the limit.