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Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has stated the grace period for loans taken by the state needs to be extended until 2024.
Speaking at the Whole House Committee of the Parliament regarding the report on state debt, Speaker Nasheed said next year will be a very difficult year for the state financially, due to the increased debt. He expressed belief the grace period for loans taken by the state needs to be extended until 2024, considering the projected income of the state over the next few years. He also expressed hope the interest rate of some of the loans can be reduced.
The report on state debt, which was prepared based on the information provided by the Ministry of Finance, revealed state debt starting from 2012 till now has risen to USD 11 billion. The report also includes the projected income of the state for the next few years, and the amount of debt which has to be repaid annually. Further, the report includes a proposal for the government to restructure the repayment of all debt of the state, except for the loans taken from foreign countries and international organisations.
The report was passed by the Whole House Committee with votes from 35 members. Speaker Nasheed announced the deliberations on the report will be placed on the agenda for the next parliament sitting.