'MVR 1.9 bln lost to corruption must be recovered': Finance Minister

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has said MVR 1.9 billion owed to the state between 2009 and 2020 has still not been recovered. The minister made the statement on Sunday while speaking at a ceremony held to kick off a workshop conducted by the Anti-Corruption on establishing an asset recovery system.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Ameer said a system to recover the money lost by the state must be established. The doors used for corruption must be permanently closed, he said.

"Closing these doors is a very important policy of the government. The work done under this policy in recent days has strengthened the financial system of the state as well as public finances," he said.

The minister also shared information on the efforts being made by the government to prevent the loss of money by corruption. He said the Public Finance Act and finance regulations have already been amended to limit the opportunities for misuse of state property and money. However, there are still changes to be made to laws and regulations, he said.

The minister said the government's efforts to curb corruption are yielding results. He shared the Maldives' ranking in the World Corruption Index (CPI), and noted that the Maldives was ranked in the 124th position in the CPI Index and advanced to the 85th position in the 2021 ranking.

Although the Finance minister acknowledged that the state lost over MVR 1.9 billion between 2009 and 2020, the minister did not provide details on the figures. Noting that the loss of money through corruption is very frequent, he stressed that a strong system should be introduced to recover the money lost.

At the ceremony, ACC President Adam Shamil said that most of the money lost through corruption were funds allocated to bring about the development that the people want. The workshop was launched to explain how the state should try to recover the lost funds, he said.