Discrepancies in President's debt clearance claim: Ameer

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer speaks at a campaign rally of MDP held in GDh. Gadhdhoo. (Photo/MDP)

Former Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has responded to President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's claim, that the current government had settled MVR 13 billion of state debt inherited from the preceding administration.

President Muizzu, while speaking at the ceremony held on Sunday evening to inaugurate ruling People's National Congress (PNC)'s new hub, claimed the state had settled MVR 7 billion in debt owed to state-owned enterprises and another MVR 2 billion settled in external debt.

In response, Ameer said the current administration had only spent MVR 18 billion from the state budget so far in 2024.

While noting that out of the total state expenditure, MVR 5 billion was spent on salaries, wages and pensions of public sector employees, Ameer questioned if the remaining MVR 13 billion was spent to clear state's debt.

The former minister asked if state had incurred expenditure only to repay the loans, and for no other expenditure. He inquired if the state had not incurred expenses to procure drones, and to open new government offices.

Ameer also inquired about the foreign trips of the president and cabinet ministers, questioning if these trips incurred expenses or not.

The ex-minister claimed the government had spent an additional MVR 200 million on administrative and operational expenses alone so far in 2024.

He added an increment of MVR 600 million for salaries and operational expenses, claiming political posts had increased from 600 to over 2,000.

The former minister in his response, had questioned the accuracy of President Muizzu's statement.