Budget committee approves state budget, adds 21 projects

9th Meeting of Budget Review Committee PHOTO: Nishan Ali/Mihaaru

9th Meeting of Budget Review Committee PHOTO: Nishan Ali/Mihaaru

The parliamentary budget review committee has added 21 Public Sector Investment Programs (PSIP) to State Budget 2017  according to the wishes of lawmakers without changing its total amount.

In the ninth sitting of the budget review committee to evaluate the state budget, the committee chair and parliamentary group leader of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Ahmed Nihan declared that the PSIP of State Budget 2017 has been changed. He said the decision was made after discussing with the state ministries to include projects requested by the parliamentarians.

“For example, a specific amount is taken from a project conducted in Male’ and that amount is awarded to another project of the atoll,” explained Nihan.

The changes brought about include demands from opposition members of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Adhaalath Party, Jumhooree Party as well as the ruling coalition of PPM and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA).

“However, with great regret, all the projects demanded were not included as we cannot replace them with any other project stated in the budget,” said Nihan.

When the PSIP projects were announced, some lawmakers had shared their concerns with deputy PG group leader of PPM, Riyaz Rasheed. Nihan had later recommended those to be added as amendments to the parliament floor.

With 50.2 percent, total MVR 8 billion of capital costs is allocated for PSIP projects. While the state budget shares of it are at 54.6 percent, the remaining 45.4 percent is to be covered via aid and loans.

The new changes brought to the PSIP includes more island level ventures.

The committee report is to be sent to the Parliament on Monday to be asked for vote.

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