President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday held a press conference sharing details of the National Resilience and Recovery Plan (NRRP); the pathway to recovery from the economic downturn following the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking at the virtual press conference, the President said that the government has been forced to revise the timeline for developmental projects in order to cater to the NRRP.
The President said that positive growth for the economy by the end of the year is expected with the recovery efforts going at a good pace. Citing the huge burden the administration has to shoulder due to unpaid high-interest loans withdrawn by previous governments, President Solih said that the administration has formulated approaches for debt management and will follow the strategy in the repayment of the loans. He added that the government also plans to seek better repayment options and assistance from friendly nations with regard to debt through its foreign policy.
Speaking on the economic revival, the President said that the government has been successful in implementing sound economic and fiscal policies and regaining lost ground following the Covid-19 lockdown phase. President Solih said that he envisions further progress and prosperity for the economy in the coming year 2022 by overcoming the existing challenges.
The President said that one of the biggest efforts undertaken by the government has been to provide affordable education. He said that the administration’s free degree scheme, which covers the cost for Maldivian students undertaking their first Bachelor’s degree, has enrolled 10,000 students up till the last week. He said that the benefits of this programme will be realized within a couple of years when these students graduate and join the workforce.
Speaking on the administration’s pledge for the provision of essential services to all islands of the country, the President said that projects for the establishment of water and sewerage networks in islands without access to the services will commence before the end of the year. He said that these projects are now being prepared for tender and that the contract signings will proceed within the upcoming months.
The President also shared details into various other topics, ranging from the administration’s efforts in providing a solution to the housing issues in the Malé region to the administration’s decentralization efforts to expedite development in the atolls. The President also answered questions posed by the media and gave detailed insights into their queries.