Abdulla Jihad

Defense expenditure will drop, focus on major projects

  • Focus on GDP boosting projects
  • Expenditure by citizens will decrease
  • Government will focus on ensuring citizens were well off

Vice President Abdullah Jihad has stated the aim of the Government is to reduce spending on defense and increase spending on public service projects that will increase the quality of life. He said Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) bus services launched yesterday was part of this initiative.

Speaking last night in Hithadhoo, in his first trip to Addu City since his appointment as Vice President, Jihad said he was gladdened to see that the citizens of Addu City were backing the Government. Stating that working with the Government on national development was a key aspect, the Vice President said the land transportation project inaugurated in Addu City and Fuvahmmulah would bring increased mobility, convenient transportation and aid in the efficient transport of cargo.

“Public saving increased for this atoll. Mobility gives a boost to GDP. It will allow progress,” he said.

Jihad, who also served as Finance Minister, said with this the productivity and profitability of the atoll will increase, lending assistance to business development.

“When goods are easily transported from one location to the other, it can reach a bigger market, with bigger options. This will profit the economy. I will call this a breakthrough,” Jihad said.

The Vice President said with the MPL service, travel expenses had been drastically reduced.

“Before we used to spend MVR 300 on one trip. From today onward, the cost had been reduced to a maximum of MVR 30. This is a reduction around 90 percent. It is an Eid gift given by the President,” he said.

He added that his first official visit as Vice President was to Addu City and is a sign of the respect and emphasis the Government and President placed on the Atoll.

“The Addu ceremony had demonstrated two things. The first thing is access to transportation. [We] do not have to wait for taxis or motorcycles to go to places,” Jihad said.

Speaking to hundreds gathered in the ceremony, VP Jihad said that the President will fulfill all the things he pledged to.

“Many said that this was unachievable. But with the grace of God we have achieved this within two and a half years. We have a President who responds to the needs of the citizens,” he said.