The losses due to the corruption of the MMPRC forced us to take out loans: President Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said his government was forced to take out huge loans to carry out development projects because the money acquired from the sale of the islands through the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC ) had not been transferred to the correct accounts and thus made inaccessible to the administration in place.

President Solih made the remarks while responding to a question from the media during a press conference held at the President’s office on Wednesday. The president revealed that the Maldives currently has a debt of MVR 86.5 billion, including a debt of MVR 66 billion without sovereign guarantee.

Referring to when his administration took office, President Solih said his government had virtually no funds in the state budget to carry out development projects when he first took over the presidency. times. He also added that the government had been very transparent with its intentions to acquire more loans to finance these projects in the past. President Solih then assured that the benefits of these loans would become apparent over the next two years.

The president noted that his administration’s plans to lead the country had seriously derailed with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Responding to a question posed by the media, President Solih said that it would not have been necessary to take so many loans if the MMPRC’s losses had been accounted for, namely the roughly 3 billion MVR missing from public funds. from the sale of islands by the grand corruption under former president Abdulla. The administration of Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

Shedding further light on the matter, President Solih said that the Yameen administration had acquired a loan of more than $ 200 million at very high interest rates, and that repayment would fall to his administration next year. . President Solih acknowledged that this would be a very difficult undertaking and noted that the money accumulated in the sovereign wealth fund was reserved to tackle this specific debt. Noting the additional financial losses suffered under the previous administration, the President also noted that the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) also had to pay over $ 200 million in the GMR case.

Reaffirming the coming debt difficulties, President Solih revealed that the hope was to delay repayment of the loan for another five years and that his administration hoped to achieve this result. President Solih also confirmed that work was underway to convert US $ 150 million of India’s loans into grants, and said he was confident that the conversion would significantly alleviate the Maldives’ debt situation.

During the press conference, President Solih noted that the Maldives economy is slowly recovering from the devastating impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The president noted that while his administration had received criticism for projecting the start of economic recovery for the end of last year, the prediction had come true. President Solih then expressed hope that the Maldives ‘economy would be even more robust by the end of 2021, and said 2022 would be a year when citizens’ concerns about the nation’s finances were eased significantly.

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