Govt to allot certain PSIP projects to local companies

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has revealed that the government will be dedicating some Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP) projects solely for application by local companies only.

Speaking at the parliament's budget review committee on Saturday, Minister Ameer said foreign companies submit competitive bids when projects are opened for international bids.

However, the government intends to open some PSIP projects which will be funded from a domestic budget for local submission only, through amending tender policies, said the minister. Ameer said the work will be concluded and gazetted within the next month.

"We are working on changing the tendering process such that only local companies can apply for certain PSIP projects which are funded from a domestic budget. The regulations will be approved by the Economic Council and gazetted within the next month," said the minister.

The government submitted a proposed budget of MVR 37.5 billion for the next year, out of which MVR 10.1 billion is allotted for PSIP projects. Some of these projects which cost below a certain value will be given to Maldivian companies only, said the minister. The projects will be banded in terms of the its size, added the minister.

"For an example, we can arrange such that only Maldivian companies can apply for projects if the project cost is lower than MVR 75 million. Similarly, joint ventures between Maldivian and foreign companies can apply for projects costing between MVR 75 million and a certain threshold", explained the minister.

An amendment as been proposed to Decentralization Act such that all PSIP projects under MVR 5 million fall under local councils of the target project islands. Some parliamentarians who debated on the bill have proposed to increase the amount to MVR 10 million.