Expenses have always been managed by changing budget codes: Finance Minister

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer said the Maldives’ finances have been managed within the total budget, and the practice of changing the budget code to manage expenses has always been done.
During the parliament’s Budget Committee meeting today, Minister Ameer said offices in Maldives such as the Auditor General's Office, Parliament, and courts have always requested for extra budgets when the allocated budgets run out.
Ameer said the contingency budget is increased so that they can utilize it in such instances.
He said the budgets for the Public Sector Investment Programs (PSIP) are not under the control of the ministry. He said when the bills for major projects such as the Velana International Airport project is increased, they receive automatic payments. However these payments increase the state’s overall expenses as well.
“For example, the travel code for the honorable parliament members have also been used up. They said to increase travel code. How many times have they said in the past five years that some repair code for the Auditor General’s Office has been finished? They asked to send money for repair codes. This same request comes from many ministries,” he said.
Ameer said so far the budget for Maldives’ affairs has been handled within the total budget. When he said this, The Democrats’ MPs in the committee expressed displeasure and criticized the minister loudly.
The response regarding budget codes was given when some members in the committee accused them of using illegal means to fund certain government projects. Committee member, MP Hassan Afeef from the Vilufushi constituency, noted that Auditor General's Office highlighted that the PSIP spending had increased and asked why this had happened.
“The Audit office have also pointed out that more [money] than had been allocated for PSIP had been spent. More have been spent on subsidies as well. The constitution states expenses have to be managed within the allocated budgets. If more than the allocated amount has to be spent, they have to be submitted to the parliament and passed before they proceed with it,” he said.
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