Sovereign Development Fund has doubled since new govt. took over: minister

Sovereign Development Fund has doubled since new govt. took over: minister

The Sovereign Development Fund (SDF) has doubled since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office last November, Finance Minster Ibrahim Ameer has said.

Responding to questions at Tuesday’s parliament sitting, the minister said that SDF’s balance was USD 96.3 million when the new administration took office, and that it had doubled to USD 181 million by October 3.

Ameer also revealed that the finance ministry is working with the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), to submit a bill related to SDF to the People’s Majlis. He added that the bill will be forwarded “very soon.”

The finance minister was also questioned on India’s decision to give a USD 1.2 million financial assistance to the Maldives; including on its cost, interest rate and grace period.

He responded that USD 800 million of the USD 1.2 million is though a line of credit facility and that this will be utilized for large-scale Public-Sector Investment Projects (PSIP).

Further noting that the interest rate on the loan is 1.5%, Minister Ameer said that “there is a USD 200 grant assistance and USD 400 currency swap facility with India’s reserve bank.”

India announced the decision to provide an additional USD 50 million free aid to the Maldives, during President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s state visit there last December, increasing its assistance to USD 1.4 billion.

Also at Tuesday’s parliament sitting, the finance minister revealed that the country has received over MVR three billion as grant assistance since the new administration took over last November and that around MVR four billion of this year’s income “will go to debt service.”

The minister also revealed that a total of 42 projects were completed by September.

Responding to a question Kaashidhoo constituency MP Abdulla Jabir, regarding the number of projects completed thus far and the funds repaid, Minister Ameer said that a total of 42 projects were completed by September.

Noting that the total cost of these projects amounts to MVR one billion, he said that they have paid back MVR 759.8 million thus far.

He added that any new projects are included in the budget proposed for next year, with details.