Finance Minister Announces Expenditure Reduction Measures Starting Next Month

In an exclusive interview with local media outlet “Mihaaru,” Finance Minister Dr Mohamed Shafeeq outlined plans to reduce government expenditure starting in May. The Minister emphasized reforms aimed at strengthening government-owned companies alongside changes to the national health insurance scheme, Aasandha.

Dr Shafeeq stated that necessary studies have been completed and measures identified to optimize spending. Key priorities include centralized bulk procurement of medical supplies to ensure access to quality medications at lower costs.

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“Targeting subsidies and reducing overall expenditure is a critical change this year,” the Minister noted. Beginning in June, the government will transition to a direct transfer system for subsidies such as electricity, oil, staple food, and sewerage services. This shift is projected to reduce subsidy spending by MVR 2.5 billion, according to the state budget.

The government has allocated MVR 600 million to ensure subsidies reach those with the most pressing needs during this transition. Minister Shafeeq emphasized that these changes will be implemented gradually to minimize disruption for citizens.

Dr Shafeeq also revealed an ongoing review of SOEs, aimed at maximizing efficiency. He indicated that necessary reforms may include mergers among certain enterprises.

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