President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Delivers Presidential Address at the Opening of the People’s Majlis for 2023

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The Maldives economy experienced a growth of 12.3 percent by the end of 2022.

  • 1. On May 1, 2023, all government workers will receive a 35 percent civil service bonus.
  • 2. The highest monthly income recorded was MVR 3.5 billion in January.
  • 3. MIFCO distributed over MVR 1 billion to fishermen in 2022.
  • 4. A total of 16,315 students have enrolled in the government’s free degree program, with 16,315 students graduating.
  • 5. The preparation of 6,000 skilled workers for the job market is currently in progress.
  • 6. The completion of 1,578 classroom building projects and 85 multi-purpose hall development projects is underway.
  • 7. 1,986 students have received higher education loans.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih addressed the Parliament on Monday, outlining the administration’s plans to create a strong and thriving domestic economy. He spoke of the various initiatives taken by the government to improve the lives of the people, such as the pay harmonization process for healthcare workers and the civil service allowance.

Starting from May 1, 2023, all government employees will be eligible for the 35% civil service allowance, along with wage increases for those working in the healthcare sector. University employees’ salaries will also see an improvement starting from March. Once the pay harmonization process is complete, all civil service employees will benefit from the raises.

The President also emphasized the positive impact of the increased minimum wage and the fair distribution of tourism sector service charges, which have improved the quality of life for employees and their families. He encouraged Parliament to deliberate on the Occupational Health and Safety Bill and the Industrial Relations Bill, to ensure safety and security in the workplace and at home.

The President expressed his satisfaction with the Maldives’ economic growth, mentioning that the World Bank had revised the growth forecast for 2022 from 7.6% to 12.3%. He also noted that the state had collected MVR3.5 billion in January 2023.

Transportation was also a key focus of the President’s address, as he mentioned the government’s plans to connect Huvadhu Atoll, Fuvahmulah City, and Addu City with the Raajje Transport Link (RTL) high-speed ferry service by the end of the year. The administration’s aim is to connect all the islands through the RTL network, to ensure equitable distribution of development across the country.

The President also announced the upcoming opening of the Faresmaathoda Airport, and the completion of airport projects in Magoodhoo Island and Muli Island by the end of the year. Work on the Hanimaadhoo International Airport has already commenced, and the development of Addu International Airport is scheduled to begin in February.

The President stressed the importance of basic amenities, such as electricity, ports, roads, water, sewerage, and the RTL network, in building a strong economy. Providing these amenities to the islands would not only boost their economies, but also increase the value of their land.

The President revealed that the government’s main economic drivers were tourism, fisheries, and agriculture. The target for 2023 is to attract 1.8 million tourists, and the government has added a total of 16,758 tourist beds to support this goal. Regarding the fisheries sector, the President mentioned that the administration had made record payments to fishermen in 2022, with the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Ltd. (MIFCO) paying MVR1 billion. He expressed hope that the United Kingdom and the European Union would make favorable decisions on fish duties.