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Facts and Figures about revenue and expenditure of the 2009 budget

The Total Revenue figure estimated by the government for 2009 is 9.5 billion mrf. That is the total. And this total includes what the government terms as Capital Revenue of 3.8 billion mrf. Capital revenue being an euphemism, a fancy term for the sale of those supposedly non-existent assets which Maumoon did not create in his thirty year rule. The mid-term budget 2009-2011 proposes to generate 5.7 billion rufiyaa by sale of capital assets not created in the last thirty years. As Yaameen said in one his speeches, those who do not know how to run businesses make money out of selling the capital assets created by those who did.

But we divert. If we deduct the 3.8 billion mrf. to be generated from the whole-sale liquidation of the wealth not created in the last thirty years; something that looks increasingly unlikely to be approved by the current parliament, the government’s revenue figure for 2009 is 5.6 billion mrf.

Let us at this juncture, ignore the fact that expenditure is rising faster than budgeted and revenue is falling faster, and assume that the budget figures are realistic. Let us, for the sake of argument accept that 5.6 billion mrf of revenue is going to be collected.

Now let us take a look at the expenditure side. Expenditure figures of the same budget shows that recurrent expenditure alone for the year is 8.6 billion mrf. Yes, that is 3 billion mrf more than what is going to earned domestically.

What is the 8.6 billiion made up of? That’s 4.1 billion of personal emoluments made up of salaries, wages, over times and other allowances. Another 351.9 million of pensions, retirement s and other benefits taking the expenses figure up to 4.4 billion mrf. Wait, we do not, yet have the operational budget necessary to run the government ministries. The rent, telephones, hire charges and the like. That’s 998.8 million mrf. That’s already 5.4 billion mrf. We have not yet, considered 206 million of travel expenses, 154.5 of supplies and requisitions and 328.8 million of training expenses. Knowing how prudent and cost conscious the government is, we can rightly assume that there will be, as the president and vice president are showing by personal example, no unnecessary travel related expenses. So being, the fair and balanced people we are, let’s ignore the travel expenses but bring in the 328.8 million of training expenses. Wait, that’s 5.7 billion. That’s more than the 5.6 billion that is estimated to be earned.

Still, the supplies and requisitions, and repairs and maintenance figures are to be included. In fact, the government’s own estimate of expenditure is 8.6 billion mrf. The revenue estimate of 5.6 added together with an estimated grant figure of 567 million mrf (which is yet to be granted) adds up to only 6.2 billion mrf, still 2.4 billion mrf shy of the estimated mrf.

That’s a hole of 2.4 billion mrf unless, we agree to sell off our hard earned assets to finance the daft and dim witted mdp government and keep them in power so that they can dig even a bigger hole for the next year.

Remember we are talking of estimates made in the budget assuming that anticipated revenue will be received, expenditure is controlled and unnecessary expenses curtailed. And we all know how that one is going.

When rebuked by the IMF in no uncertain terms, the President has reacted in a predictable manner. According the press secretary; the person who actually translates to common language such that the ordinary folk can get what the President actually said, (thereby giving significance to the local term ‘rasmee tharujamaanu’) the plan is to cut the ranks of the civil service.

Assuming a 15,000 mrf salary figure (an estimated average figure) per civil servant per month totaling to 180,000 mrf per year, the government will have to axe close to 13,000 staff just to fill the 2.4 billion shaped gap in the budget.

And yet that’s not all. There is still 3.9 billion mrf to be spent on capital expenditure. Yes, that’s 3.9 billion out of which 432 million mrf are allocated to development projects. That’s 432 million mrf of harbors that’s not going to be built, schools that’s not going to be teaching any time soon and mosques that’s not going to be open for prayers.

Now for some questions. Not wild conjecture. Just questions.

Will our civil service be paid towards the end of the year and if so how much money are going to be printed and what will be the effect on that on the already straining exchange rate? Secondly how is this position being further impaired by slashing another 500 million mrf from import duty? Ultimately who pays? What the hell are all those MP’s in the parliament doing? Who cares?

(All budget figures are taken from ‘Government Budget in Statistics, Financial Year 2009’ available at http://www.finance.gov.mv/Budget_in_Statistics_-_2009.pdf. All other figures from May and April report from MMA site www.mma.gov.mv)

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