Governance Politics

Maldives heavily in debt, no avenues to pay up!

Mohamed Ameeth

Joint opposition parties have expressed their concerns on the amount of loans taken by the Government of Maldives from foreign banks and funds.

Speaking in a press conference held in Maafannu Kunooz over the Government’s decision to take a loan from Abu Dhabi Fund for development of Velana International Airport, Maduvvari Constituency MP Mohamed Ameeth said future generations were heavily in debt.

Taking loans, he said was a strategy used by all Governments, but the current rate of taking loans was concerning as the incumbent Government’s policy on loans were unknown.

MP Ameeth highlighted on the recent loans taken by the Government. He pointed out the millions taken from China’s Exim Bank, India’s Exim Bank, Dubai Fund, Abu Dhabi Fund, Saudi Fund, Kuwait fund among others.

As such, MP Ameeth noted that while the Government just signed the deal to acquire US$ 50 million from Abu Dhabi fund, US$ 100 million had been allotted from Maldives Airport Company Ltd budget for the project.

He further noted that US$ 400 million had been taken for construction of 7000 housing units in Hulhumale’ second phase. An additional US$ 80 million had been taken for fitting revetments and connecting phases one and two in Hulhumale’. A loan of US$ 40 million was taken from India’s Exim bank for constructing roads, while another US$ 24 million was taken for construction of the bridge between Male’ and Hulhule’ and the link road to Hulhumale’.

MP Ameeth said the cost of this falls on citizens, in spite of the claims made by the Government that this will go to developing nation.

Any earnings from these mega projects, MP Ameeth said will be diverted to paying the loans.

MP Ameeth further noted the widespread corruption in these projects. He said the construction of the new building of IGMH had cost US$ 143 million, while a contractor had bid for US$ 53 million. Ameeth noted that a state of the art hospital in Hulhumale’ currently under construction had cost far less – priced at lesser than US$ 100 million.

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