Newly appointed Finance Minister Dr. Mohamed Shafeeq says the Finance Ministry has commenced discussions with other relevant agencies in preparation for economic stimulus measures to cut down on state expenditures and that these measures could come into effect in the middle of next year.
He said this in his first appearance before the parliament as the legislative house debates on the proposed State Budget for 2024.
In his remarks, Finance Minister Shafeeq noted that though the budget is set at MVR 49.6 billion, out of this MVR 47.3 would be on state expenditures. He said that this includes MVR 34.8 billion as operational costs and MVR 12.5 billion as capital costs. He also said the budget also includes MVR 2.2 billion allocated as debt repayment.
The Minister highlighted three main actions as stimulus measures to further state expenditures. Minister Shafeeq said that this includes giving subsidies to those who most need it, reviewing the national health insurance scheme Aasandha, and strengthening the state welfare system.
He pointed out that these measures have been compiled by looking at the technical research done with the assistance from World Bank and ADB.
The Minister said that the new government is working to put these measures into effect by next July and has now commenced work on the matter.
Minister Shafeeq noted that state costs can only be cut down by bringing policy level changes and urged the government to minimize its expenditures as much as it can.