MVR 1.6 bln to be issued to councils as grants

The Finance Ministry has said MVR 1.6 billion will be issued to local councils in free aid from next year’s budget.

This year's the budget allocated MVR 1.5 billion in free aid to councils. Of this, MVR 850 million has been disbursed to councils till last month.

A circular issued by the Finance Ministry announced the amounts of free aid or "block grants" that would be issued from the state budget to individual councils.

The four city councils will receive the largest amount of free aid next year. This amounts to 20 percent of the total free aid to be issued to councils.

In this regard, MVR 166 million will be allocated for Male' City Council, MVR 75 million for Addu City Council, MVR 48 million for Fuvahmulah City Council and MVR 36 million for Kulhudhuffushi City Council.

Some other councils receiving significant amount in free aid are:

GDh. Thinadhoo Council: MVR 25 million
L. Gan Council: MVR 20.2 million
Lh. Naifaru Council: MVR 19.9 million
R. Dhuvaafaru Council: MVR 16 million
K. Maafushi Council: MVR 15 million
HA. Dhidhdhoo Council: MVR 15 million
GA. Villingili Council: MVR 15 million

The Ministry of Finance announced the grant amounts after giving the councils a deadline until September 25 to submit budget estimates for 2023-2025.

When councils prepare their budgets, they are required to include the amount of grant aid expected to be received from the state budget and the amounts expected to be received from individual government agencies.

The government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has decided to provide free aid to councils in proportion to the revenue received by the state. Assistance has been provided from 2020 in accordance with the government's decision.