The President announces wage raise for healthcare sector professionals beginning May 1, 2023
- Maldives' economy grew by 12.3 per cent by the end of 2022
- All government employees will be eligible for a 35 per cent civil service allowance from May 1, 2023
- Income in January was a record MVR 3.5 Billion- the highest ever for a calendar month.
- MIFCO paid over MVR1 billion to fishermen in 2022
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated on Monday that the administration aims to create a cohesive and vibrant domestic economy. In his annual address to Parliament, President Solih highlighted the major developmental initiatives his administration undertook to improve people's lives. He highlighted pay harmonisation for those working in the healthcare sector and allowance for civil service employees.
On this note, President Solih announced that all government employees would be eligible for the 35 per cent civil service allowance starting May 1, 2023, along with wage raises for healthcare sector staff. He added that, starting in March, university employees' salaries would also notice a positive shift in their wages, and that once the pay harmonisation process is complete, all civil service employees will benefit from pay raises.
The President stated that the significant increases in the minimum wage and the equitable distribution of tourism sector service charges had significantly improved the employees' and their families' quality of life. He emphasised the value of having laws to ensure safety and security in work environments and at home and urged Parliament to deliberate on the Occupational Health and Safety Bill and the Industrial Relations Bill.
Emphasising Maldives' economic growth, President Solih stated that the World Bank initially forecast the Maldives' economy to grow by 7.6 per cent in 2022 but had revised the growth forecast to 12.3 per cent by the end of the year. He added that the state collected MVR3.5 billion as income in January 2023.
Noting the importance of transportation in the equitable distribution of development all over the country, President Solih stated that by the end of this year, the administration would connect Huvadhu Atoll, Fuvahmulah City, and Addu City with the Raajje Transport Link (RTL) high-speed ferry service. He added that the administration aims to connect all the islands through the RTL network.
President Solih also announced that the Faresmaathoda Airport will be opened next month and that work on airport projects in Magoodhoo Island in the Faafu Atoll and Muli Island in the Meemu Atoll would be completed by the end of the year. He added that the construction of Hanimaadhoo International Airport has commenced, while the development of Addu International Airport is scheduled to begin this February.
The President cited that establishing electricity, ports, roads, water, sewerage, and the RTL network are the foundations on which the vision for the country's economy rests. He stated that providing basic amenities to the islands would boost their economies and raise the value of their land.
President Solih revealed that the government's key economic drivers were tourism, fisheries, and agriculture, and that the government's target for 2023 is to attract 1.8 million tourist arrivals. He noted that his administration added a total of 16,758 tourist beds.
Speaking about the administration's efforts to develop the fisheries sector, President Solih stated that the administration made record payments to fishermen in 2022, with Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Ltd. (MIFCO) paying MVR1 bullion to fishermen. He also expressed hope that the United Kingdom and the European Union would make a favourable decision on fish duties.