Pres Solih vows to address dollar shortages

The President and MDP presidential candidate, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, has pledged to find a permanent solution to the challenges faced in obtaining US dollars.

Speaking at a campaign event at Hithadhoo island of southernmost Addu City, President Solih said a revenue of more than US$ 6 billion enters the Maldives, underscoring that there should be no difficulty in accessing dollars.

"We need to establish policies that enable people to obtain the required amount of dollars at favorable rates," he said.

The President noted that the current government has already initiated efforts in this direction, including the process of de-dollarization. This shift involves conducting all domestic and business transactions in the Maldivian Rufiyaa, necessitating the conversion of dollars into the local currency, which in turn ensures that banks maintain a sufficient dollar reserve to meet people's needs, he said.

The President said he was in talks with the tourism industry to resolve the dollar issue and disclosed that an agreement had been reached to retain a specific percentage of imported dollars within the Maldives for a specific period. He stressed the importance of legally safeguarding the trust and confidence of business owners, ensuring the return of reserved dollars when necessary.

“Even if 30 percent of the dollar entering the Maldives is retained, the dollar rate can be brought below MVR 15,” he said.

President Solih said he would work to resolve the dollar issue in his second term and implement the necessary measures within the next year. He also said he would discuss with the Bank of Maldives (BML) to introduce dollar ATM services in Addu City.