Approve the budget without changes to better fulfil pledges: Finance Minister

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has requested the parliament to approve State Budget 2020 without changes in order to fulfil the pledges made to the people.

In his introductory remarks before the floor opened for debate, the finance minister requested the parliament to approve the budget without changes, highlighting the budget was formulated with a focus on running development projects in all part of the country.

Speaking at the parliament, Minister Ameer said the tourism sector is booming at a rate better than expected, and other sectors will also develop this year. He said the economy will grow at 7.5% next year.

The finance minister said the budget is based on policies of the government and the budget allocation aimed at ensuring pledges of the government are fulfilled. He further said while all sectors and all islands will experience development projects, the health sector will see revolutionary changes with the five tertiary hospitals to be developed in the five urban centres.

The health sector has been allocated a budget of USD 265 million. The minister further said the educational sector will see significant improvements with a budget of USD 286 million allocated to develop the sector. The budget covers free degree programmes, loan opportunities for further education and free breakfast programme the government currently funds.

Housing projects included in the budget also are mega scale projects that intends to provide social housing for 20,000 families with an allocated budget of USD 38.9 million to develop housing. An additional USD 23.3 million has also been allocated to develop housing facilities in islands. The budget allocates a subsidy of USD 28.85 million to reduce the price of imported goods.

The Parliamentary Committee on the State Budget expects to complete the evaluation and send to the floor by November 20.