Parliament passes USD422 million supplementary budget

The Parliament of the Maldives has passed the USD422 million supplementary budget proposed by the Ministry of Finance. The budget passed with 57 votes in favour and 10 votes against.

The supplementary budget required 34 votes in favour to be passed. While evaluating the supplementary budget, the members of the parliamentary budget committee described its approval as important for the new administration. The Parliament approved a USD2.8 billion state budget for 2023 and the supplement has increased the budget to USD3.2 billion.

The finance ministry submitted the supplementary budget to Parliament in accordance with Article 96 of the Constitution. The article states that the ministry can propose a supplementary budget if the expenditure exceeds the projected estimate in the approved state budget.

The finance ministry stated that the supplementary budget will mainly be spent on Public Sector Investment Programmes (PSIP), national health insurance, subsidies, and capital contributions to state-owned companies. The ministry stated that the productivity for PSIP projects increased during the year and other expenditures exceeded the budgeted amount, adding that the planned expenditure reduction measures have not been properly implemented.

The supplementary budget allocates USD117 million for subsidies, USD78 million for the national health insurance scheme Aasandha, and USD110 million for PSIP projects, including the Addu land reclamation and the development of Hanimaadhoo Airport. An amendment has also been included to provide USD422,000 in assistance for the operation of registered broadcasting media companies.