Dark days would be ahead if economic realities are not faced

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Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim has urged the government to disclose the true state of the Maldivian economy and inform the public if tough measures are needed to address the current economic downturn.

During a meeting of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday, Nazim emphasized that with the election season over, there should be no secrecy regarding the economic situation.

“We must communicate clearly and honestly with the Maldivian people about our economic realities,” he stated. “Public expectations are based on what we tell them.”

Nazim warned of difficult times ahead if the economic realities are ignored. “Island residents need to know whether planned projects will proceed or not. The election season is behind us, so it’s time to confront reality and inform the public. Otherwise, we face dark days ahead,” he said.

Nazim stressed the importance of the Finance Minister providing a clear explanation of the economic challenges facing the Maldives. “We must prioritize the nation’s financial interests over party interests,” he said. “We need to be honest if tough measures are necessary.”

He referenced the economic collapse of Sri Lanka as a cautionary example, noting that neighboring countries did not assist Sri Lanka because its economic fundamentals were flawed. “If the fundamentals of an economy are incorrect, it’s like giving money to an alcoholic, who will squander it and return for more,” Nazim explained.

Similarly, Nazim pointed out that countries like Saudi Arabia withheld direct financial aid from Pakistan, instead depositing funds in Pakistan’s central bank under conditions set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. “Saudi Arabia’s assistance was contingent on Pakistan adhering to economic principles advised by international financial institutions,” he noted.

Nazim argued that the Maldives must be prepared to follow similar prescriptions if necessary. “We need to know what tough measures might be required to avoid bankruptcy,” he said.

He concluded by stating that any measures, such as raising taxes, should be preceded by a clear explanation of the economic situation from the government. “We can’t wait until the end of the year for next year’s budget. We need to address this immediately and have a frank discussion with the Finance Ministry,” Nazim urged.