'Will bounce back up to 90 percent of pre-pandemic economy this year'

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has stated that 85 percent to 90 percent of the economy can be recovered during the current year.

Maldives' economy was severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the tourism industry suffered several setbacks due to the pandemic. While the country was on a strict lockdown for three months, the industry was restarted once again following the reopening of the country's borders in July 2020.

Speaking at the Parliament regarding a request to extend the overdraft period granted by central bank Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), Finance Minister Ameer said the positive results of the steps taken to recover the economy are now being witnessed. The Maldives is expected to bounce back to 80 to 90 percent of its pre-pandemic economy soon, said the minister.

"These steps will ensure that the negative impacts on the economy is negated and that the economy is recovered. This includes the steps taken to manage the health crisis and the loan assistance provided to small and medium businesses, debt moratorium, utility bill discounts. This amount to MVR 240 million," said the minister.

Responding to concerns raised by Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam regarding how the financial assistances extended to the Maldives and the MVR 4.4 billion printed by MMA for the overdraw were spent, Minister Ameer assured there was no spending outside that approved in the budget.