No risk to the Maldives in repaying debt: Finance Minister

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has said that there is no risk to the Maldives in repaying its debt.

The minister made the statement at the Parliament's Economic Committee on Thursday while briefing the committee on the amendment proposed to the Tourism Act to decrease the land rent imposed on resorts. The government on Wednesday withdrew the amendment after backlash from other agencies and the public.

The minister said the Maldives will have to pay the most significant amount in debt repayment in 2026. He said that the government will continue to take positive steps to manage the debt adequately until then.

"Therefore, there is no risk to the Maldives in repaying the debt in the near future," he said.

The minister said the current government is repaying loans taken by the different governments over the years. He said the government had taken very strong measures to repay the debt. In this regard, last year, the government sold a Sukuk and has restructured its debt.

The minister said the government last year paid $192 million of the $250 million outstanding as part of the debt repayment change. The government has made it much easier to pay the remaining $58 million by doing this, he said.

"The remaining $58 million, including interest payments, will be paid in the first week of June. That's $62 million. We have that money," Ameer said.

The minister added that the amount borrowed as debt is declining due to the increase in the Maldives' GDP and government revenue. Therefore, the debt as a percentage of GDP will continue to decline, he said.

The IMF and World Bank have ranked the Maldives among the fastest-growing economies after the COVID-19 outbreak.