Maldives this week: 14 - 20 November

Last week's key headlines.

On 19 November, Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed gave his statement to police in the investigation into the 6 May terror attack against him. 

On 18 November, the parliament committee reviewing the 2022 budget proposed by the government, passed the budget after adding an allocation of MVR73.8 million to expenditure estimates. Committee members unanimously endorsed the revenue estimates proposed by the government. 

On 18 November, the parliament committee reviewing the 2022 budget proposed by the government made 10 recommendations to the government, including ensuring expenditure on Aasandha are within sustainable levels, ensuring efficiency in other subsidies provided by the government, and mandating the Anti-Corruption Commission to complete investigations into MMPRC corruption by end of 2022. 

On 18 November, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified the Residential Tenancy Act. 

On 18 November, the Minister of Finance and Climate Change of Tuvalu Seve Paeniu made a courtesy call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. 

On 17 November, the opposition coalition called on the government not to print MVR7.7 billion through suspending relevant articles in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. 

On 17 November, the public finance committee of parliament approved extension of the suspension of relevant sections of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, allowing the government to continue borrowing from the public bank account. The committee approved drawing MVR2.5 billion from the MMA, and also approved the securitisation of the outstanding balance as of end-2021, into a 50-year amortised bond at 2.5 percent interest. 

On 17 November, new Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Munu Mahawar presented his credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. 

On 17 November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement condemning the 'IndiaOut' campaign. It stated that it was an attempt to spread false information to undermine the Maldives' national security and sovereignty, perpetuated by a small group of individuals with the intention of tarnishing ties with India. 

On 16 November, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer requested parliament to extend the suspension of articles in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, to allow the government to overdraw the public bank account until April 2023. 

On 16 November, opposition lawmaker Ahmed Shiyam said the opposition is considering filing a case against Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer over spending over the limit passed by the parliament for the 2021 budget. 

On 16 November, the parliament passed a bill criminalising hate crime, under which it will be an offence to call a Muslim an apostate, as well as discrimination based on race, colour, religion, country of birth and political beliefs.  

On 15 November, three foreign envoys to the Maldives, the High Commissioner of New Zealand to the Maldives Michael Edward Appleton, Ambassador of the Philippines to the Maldives Alan L. Daniega and High Commissioner of Nigerua to the Maldives Abioye Mohammed Bello presented their letters of credence to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in separate ceremonies. 

On 15 November, opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) said that they will not be supporting the budget proposed by the government for 2022. It called for a 20 percent cut in expenditure. 

On 15 November, the Ministry of Finance issued public debt statistics as at the end of the third quarter on 2021, where it said that total deb, including guaranteed debt, t was at MVR95 billion, or 124 percent of GDP. 

On 14 November, the Ministry of Health announced that the maximum profit that can be charged on the sale of prescription medicines is 100 percent. The decision, effective 1 January 2022, will be applicable for 357 items on the essential medicine list issued by the Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA). The Ministry also said that from 1 January, prescriptions can only made out for generic drugs and not brand names. 

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