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Budget surplus holds owing to capital expense cuts

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The year-to-date total of state expenditure has reached to MVR 4.08 billion while the year-to-date total of state revenue inclusive of foreign grants reached MVR 4.48 billion, reports the Ministry of Finance.

According to the latest from the ministry, the budget’s overall balance for the most recent period, dated as of February 15, 2024, is a surplus of MVR 400.1 million.

This is also the fourth consecutive week of a budget surplus.

The year-to-date total of tax revenues collected, as of the review date, is MVR 3.97 billion – marginally up from the MVR 3.96 billion observed at the corresponding period in 2023. Non-tax revenue total in annual terms reached MVR 505.0 million; significantly down from the MVR 816.3 million observed by the same period last year.

Despite marginal increment in the revenue sources to the state by the review date, the budget surplus felt for the fourth consecutive week is tied mainly to the drop in capital expenditure of the state, and a modest drop in recurrent expenses.

The Maldives government has spent MVR 3.17 billion on recurrent expenses; which encompasses the salaries, wages and pensions of government sector employees and the state’s administrative and operational expenses. The figure is modestly down from the MVR 3.77 billion observed by the corresponding period in 2023.

Capital expenditure has observed a significant decline, and is still howering below the billion-Rufiyaa mark at MVR 905.4 million as of the review date. However, by the same period in 2023, state had spent a staggering MVR 2.23 billion on capital expenses.

These expense cuts are a direct result of the current administration’s push towards austerity measures and a stronger control of the budget owing to recommendations made by international financial bodies including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) towards the practice.

Source(s): sun.mv

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President calls for SIDS to lead with resilience and innovation

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has urged Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to become beacons of resilience and innovation. He made the statement in his national statement at the Plenary of the Fourth International Conference on SIDS.

President Dr. Muizzu emphasised the importance of SIDS believing in their ability to navigate developmental challenges, stating, the vulnerabilities should not be the downfall; they should be our armor and the rallying call. He proposed three key ways in which SIDS can seek support from the international community.

As such, the president stressed that the international community must lower borrowing costs and provide SIDS with access to credit enhancement measures. In addition, president called on bilateral partners to employ more creative financial solutions, such as retractable financing, to better support SIDS. The president highlighted the need for a coordinated and cooperative approach involving the United Nations (UN) system, international development organisations, and private sector financiers. He also urged SIDS to strengthen their institutions and collaborate with the private sector.

The International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a UN conference held every four years. President Dr. Muizzu is currently in Antigua and Barbuda for the summit, where he will deliver key remarks at several events and engage with other leaders of SIDS.

Source(s): PsmNews

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President discusses climate infrastructure funding with EIB

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has held discussions with Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Ambroise Fayolle, on the sidelines of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Antigua and Barbuda.

In their discussions, President Dr. Muizzu conveyed his deep appreciation for the EIB’s longstanding support and reiterated his administration’s commitment to further strengthening these valuable ties.

The meeting centered on exploring collaborative opportunities to fund climate-resilient infrastructure projects. President Dr. Muizzu emphasised the importance of initiatives such as seawalls, shore protection, water management systems, and renewable energy projects to effectively combat the impacts of climate change.

Concluding the meeting, both leaders exchanged insights on renewable energy, climate mitigation, and adaptation strategies, underscoring their shared dedication to addressing the pressing challenges of climate change.

Source(s): PsmNews

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WHA’s Rejection of the Proposal on Taiwan

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Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Remarks on the 77th WHA’s Rejection of the Proposal on Taiwan

On May 27, the General Committee and the Plenary Session of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) respectively decided to reject the so-called proposal of “inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer” submitted by certain countries. This has been the eighth year in a row that the WHA has rejected the so-called proposal concerning Taiwan. China’s position on Taiwan-related issues at the WHA is widely understood and supported by the international community. Over 100 countries explicitly expressed support for China’s position by writing to the WHO Director-General and through other means. This fully demonstrates that the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and the arc of history bends, and must not be challenged.

The Chinese central government attaches great importance to the health and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan. Taiwan’s medical and health experts can participate in WHO technical meetings under the prerequisite that the one-China principle is upheld. Over the past year alone, medical and technical experts from China’s Taiwan region took part in WHO technical activities 21 times, which involved 24 participants, and all the applications were approved by the central government. There is an International Health Regulations Contact Point in the Taiwan region for it to promptly access and report to the WHO concerning information related to health emergencies. The Taiwan region has sufficient and unimpeded channels to participate in the technical communication and cooperation in the WHO. There is no such thing as a “gap” in global anti-epidemic efforts. Compared with a handful of countries’ political manipulation that trumpets Taiwan’s participation in the WHA, the central government’s proper arrangement and concrete actions demonstrate real meaning and sincerity for the livelihood and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan.

Once again we would like to make it clear to the DPP authorities: the abiding commitment of the international community to the one-China principle is unshakable and the trend that China will be reunified is not to be reversed. “Taiwan independence” runs contrary to the interests of our compatriots in Taiwan, and any attempt to seek “Taiwan independence” by relying on external forces leads nowhere. Meanwhile, we urge certain countries to stop distorting and challenging UNGA Resolution 2758, stop fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle, stop politicizing health issues, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs by exploiting the Taiwan question. Using Taiwan to contain China will only end in failure.

Source(s): Chinese Foreign Ministry

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