Saturday, November 6, 2010

Can the finance minister save our economy?

I don’t think so. Here’s why.

The new Constitution requires us to form so many ‘independent’ commissions and institutions, and an ‘independent’ civil service. The Minister of Finance no longer has the power to control their salaries and expenses. The salaries of the Parliamentarians are decided by themselves. The salaries of Judges and the Judiciary are decided by the Parliament. The salaries of most independent commissions and institutions are decided by themselves, and the salaries of the commission members and the heads are nominated by the Parliament. Any new revenue measure has to be first approved and passed by the Parliament. The annual government budget is obviously passed by the Parliament. Most of the time, the Parliament passes the budget with many amendments that increase the expenditure further.

What is the role of the Finance Minister then? Just pay all the salaries, and budgets, and then record all the numbers? It’s pretty obvious that the Finance Minister cannot save our economy. So who can?


  1. Yes and no.
    Yes, the finance Minister can save the Maldives with good economic policy leadership, vision and power of conviction in the cabinet. He needs to bring his cabinet colleagues with economic portfolios (tourism, fisheries, transport, housing, trade) and other bodies such as MATI and MNCCI to sing to the same tune - ie, his tune.

    If cabinet is a 'music band' at present they are playing different instruments in their own way without regard to a song... thus, there is lots of noise but no music..

  2. RGDP for 2010 you say is US$906mil, how much of that do we spend on fuel? how much of that do we spend on narcotics?

  3. cant. without the tax bill. but he and the top brass in government and majlis will be heavy tax payers if the bill is passed -so it is unlikly that the government or the majlis will push the tax bill. they (government) would rather sell or rent state assests and fullfill their promises. in the meantime majlis will go on debating about the bill to protect the rights of Jinns.