Sunday, April 26, 2009

A million dollars per month: price of political reform

With the new parliament of 77 members, we will be spending for their salaries, more than Rf4.6 million every month, so Rf55.4 million annually. With the current 50 members, we are spending Rf3 million a month, hence Rf36 million per year.

For all the political posts, we are spending more than Rf 7 million a month, meaning about Rf83.5 million a year for their salaries. How do we get this figure? There are 37 state ministers earning more than Rf40,000 per month, 51 deputy ministers or in the same rank as a deputy ministers, 19 atoll councilors, and 172 island councilors. The number of political posts is expected increase even further.

Considering the newly formed independent institutions or commissions, we are spending Rf1.25 million per month, or Rf 15 million per year on the salaries of the senior posts approved by the parliament. We have an Auditor General earning Rf100,000 per month, five Supreme Court judges earning Rf50,000 per month, and a president in the Human Rights Commission, Elections Commission, Civil Service Commission, and the Judicial Service Commission. All of them earns about Rf50,000 per month.

The grand total that we are spending on the political posts, independent institutions, and the parliamentarians is about Rf11.2 million per month or Rf134.5 million per year. This means we are spending more than USD10.5 million an year on the salaries of all these people. With the new parliament, we would be spending more than a million dollars per month, hence more than 12 million dollars every year. And the number keeps on increasing with the increase in the number of political posts. The question is, is it worth it? I mean spending all this money on all those politicians? Are we getting an effective economic return from all this spending?

There will be an additional Rf19.4 million that we would be spending with the increase in the number of parliamentarians to 77 from 50. There are more than 400 candidates contesting for these 77 seats. I say, if the salary is about 30,000 instead of 60,000 will there be so much candidates wanting to become a parliamentarian? I don’t think so. Probably we should reduce the salary to 30,000 so that we would be able to save at least Rf27 million every year.


  1. my God. Can our country afford this? I hear that there's gonna be a pension package for the parliamentarians as well.
    No wonder that football players, doctors, singers, businessmen, filmstars, and wat not, are all so eager to become parliamentarians.

  2. naseer,.how does it compare with the previous administration?

  3. Thank you, Naseer for the post. It'd be very good, had you also given the figures of total spending on the civil servants in comparrission to the spending on thses Izzahtheri members, ministers and councellors. I'm sure it would have shown a real picture of whats going on. At the begginig we heard that top heavy government is the problem in Maldives. I wonder if the problem changed along with the change in government.

  4. You get what you pay for. Simple as that.

    Your new breed of politicians have thus far proved honest, accountable and comitted to the ethical principles which they proposed prior to Nasheeds' election. Not many democracies can demonstrate that.

    I think it is money well spent.

  5. well, its hard to say its money well spent, as the new breed of politicians are not all that committed. There are many without the right education, skill, experience, or the will to do anything. Simply put because they have been activits of the party. Its hard to say the money is well spent.

  6. I disagree..Naseer. Shall we talk about the independent institutions such as their pay scale? How many redundant and useless Managers and General Managers and Executive Managers are there? Lets talk about the MMA governor...Where is he? Why is he always on leave? or Just visiting other countries from public money? Sometimes we are blind to see the mistakes of our own and we see mistakes of others! I believe we need a total overhaul of the system..and START FROM THE BASICS! But unfortunately in todays government Adil Saleem and K Naseem are yesterdays government Kamaludeen and many others! Naseer..MONEY and POLITICS is senseless!