Top authorities met Wednesday to discuss the economic framework and standards for next year’s state budget.
Finance minister Ahmed Munawar told Mihaaru that the Macroeconomic Coordinating Committee (MECC) held a meeting to discuss the projected economic status of the Maldives for 2017. Attending the discussion with Minister Munawar were Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)’s governor Azeema Adam, tourism minister Moosa Zameer, commissioner general of taxation Yazeed Mohamed, and executives of Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) and National Bureau of Statistics.
“For instance, we discussed the estimated GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and tourist arrivals for the next year,” he said.
Munawar added that while they had not arrived at a conclusion at the end of this meeting, the discussions and state budget will be finalised soon.
The government had stated this week that the state budget for 2017 will be completed over the next fortnight, and submitted to the parliament before the end of the month as per the Public Finance Act.
Two amendments were made to parliamentary regulations on the state budget last year. The first annulled the clause stating that the parliamentary debate must commence within seven days of submitting the state budget, revising the rule to commence the debate from the day of submission itself. The second amendment annulled the rule that further information regarding the budget can be requested from the finance minister only seven days after submission, instead allowing requests to be made as the parliamentary debate proceeds.
Moreover, the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) is preparing to put forward another amendment that cuts state benefits to political parties whose members refuse to vote on the state budget. A member of PPM said the amendment will be submitted when sessions of the parliament’s third term commence this Thursday.
The parliament had approved MVR 27.5 billion as the state budget for 2016 with an estimated revenue of MVR 22.8 billion.