MVR 411 million has been designated for the construction of a bridge connecting Malé and Thilafushi’s industrial island in the proposed 2020 budget.
MVR 7.9 billion has been allocated for economic and infrastructural growth, according to the proposed budget. Although 84% of the budget is based on capital spending, 16% has been dedicated for discretionary expenditures.
The budget proposed MVR 411 million for a bridge between Thilafushi and Male to link the Greater Male district. A further MVR 247 million was allotted for a port in Gulhifalhu to be reclaimed and built.
“It has been 30 years since any changes were brought to the Male’ port. This has caused many difficulties in unloading, storing and transporting goods”, said Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer presenting the budget to the parliament on Monday.
The budget also assigned MR 150 million for national transport network development, and MVR 853 million for Velana International Airport development. A sustainable energy project has been proposed for MVR 247 million.
While several road construction and reclamation works were scheduled, MVR 955 million was designated federally to land reclaim on various islands. A further 135 million MVR has been allocated in Addu City for road development and land reclamation, and 79 million MVR for the development of the roads of Male. The budget recommends MVR 61 million in Fuvahmulah City for road growth.
The Ministry of Finance announced a total budget of MVR 37.5 billion for next year. While the state has budgeted MVR 37.5 billion as next year’s expenditure, the projected income is MVR 29.92, leaving the archipelago with an MVR 5.7 billion budget deficit.
The proposed budget for next year is likely to call for more scrutiny after the new government after taking office almost a year ago has so far failed to make optimum use of the expenditure this year despite receiving an expanded budget in August.
Parliament has authorized an initial budget of MVR 30.2 billion for the current year. In August, though, the government got the parliament to sign off as an expenditure extension on an extra MVR 1.7 billion.
The government has been heavily criticized by the opposition for refusing to initiate this year’s major infrastructure projects with the budget representing unused PSIP funds.