'Embarrassing to chair sittings as country heads to bankruptcy': Nasheed

Former President and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has said that it is shameful to have to chair Parliament sittings while the country is on the way to bankruptcy.

The Parliament is currently debating its budget committee's report on the 2023 state budget proposed by the Finance Ministry.

Speaking at the sitting, Nasheed said the number of funds available in the foreign reserve must be identified. He said the state should look into the money owed in the coming weeks.

"Is there money in the reserves to pay for oil? Is there money to pay for staple foods in the reserves? My concern is that there are doubts regarding these matters," Nasheed said.

Nasheed, who has been assisting the Sri Lankan government to pull through an economical crisis, said he worked with the Ghanaian government after assisting the Sri Lankan government, and that both countries were “on the road to bankruptcy”.

"If I were in this presidency when we go that route, I would say it would be a huge shame for me as well," he said.

Therefore, the state should not be allowed to go that route and the current status of finances should be clarified, said Nasheed. This information must be made public knowledge, he added.

Statistics released by the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), show the government's official reserves stood at US$540.3 million as of September.

Reserves increase and deplete with changes in the economy. While the amount available in the usable reserve used to be disclosed to the public, the practice was discontinued earlier this year. As a result, the public has limited knowledge of the current condition of the reserves.