Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has informed the Parliament that he will not be able to attend the sitting scheduled to present the state budget and the supplementary budget due to illness.
Minister Ameer was initially scheduled to present the proposed state budget for next year at a sitting in October. However, the minister decided not to attend the sitting following the recommendation of the attorney general. The state budget was placed on the agenda for the sitting on October 31, coinciding with a no-confidence motion against Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.
The parliamentary regulations dictate that all other proceedings of the Parliament should be suspended until a vote is cast on the no-confidence motion against the speaker. Therefore, Minister Ameer opted not to attend the sitting to propose the state budget, following the recommendation of the attorney general. The finance minister was counselled to refrain from attending a Parliament sitting until the conclusion of the no-confidence motion.
The finance ministry has submitted a USD3.2 billion state budget for 2024. The Constitution states that before the beginning of each fiscal year, the finance ministry shall submit to the Parliament a budget containing projected revenue and expenditures for the year. The ministry shall also submit a statement of actual revenue and expenditures for the preceding year.
Furthermore, the finance ministry should make arrangements to provide the details of the proposed state budget to the members through the Speaker. As such, the finance minister follows a policy of attending a sitting to provide information on the budget in a statement to the Parliament each year.
However, the Parliamentary Group (PG) of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which submitted the no-confidence motion, stated that the finance minister had fulfilled his obligation by submitting the proposed state budget, even if he had not given a statement. The parliamentary regulations dictate that the members complete all work related to the state budget by the end of November and go to recess.