'Over MVR 12 bln spent on development projects': Finance Minister

Over MVR 12 billion was spent on different projects implemented in the atolls over the past two years, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has stated.

Speaking at a ceremony held Wednesday to sign agreements to develop water and sewerage systems in 34 islands, Minister Ameer said the amount spent on development projects over the past two years by the current administration is several times higher than the amount spent on projects during the five year term of the last administration.

While agreements were signed on Wednesday to develop water and sewerage systems in 34 islands, this is the first time such a large amount of projects have been handed over to companies simultaneously. The projects are being carried out under the USD 800 million credit facility extended by the government of India.

Speaking regarding the projects, Ameer said the government has been granted an adequate period of time to repay the credit facility extended through India’s EXIM bank. The minister described the fact that projects in 34 islands are being carried out simultaneously under the facility as a very good development.

Ameer noted that over MVR 3 billion has been spent by the government in its efforts to counter COVID-19. He further noted that the government had continued to carry out development projects throughout 2020 without interruption despite the additional expenses due to the pandemic. Over 310 projects totaling MVR 12 billion have been implemented across Maldives, said Ameer. He compared the work done by the current government to the achievements of past government and said the efforts of previous governments paled in comparison.

The minister further said that while the development of water and sewerage systems of 34 islands have now been contracted, only 25 islands that require such systems are remaining. While bidding has opened to carry out the projects in most of these islands, contractors will be chosen to carry out the projects over the next two months, said Ameer.

Ameer added that the establishment of water and sewerage systems in 133 islands would bring about revolutionary development to the islands of the Maldives. The establishment of the systems would lead to expansion of the local tourism sector, and will build healthy societies, he added.