World Bank backs Maldives budget modernisation

8 Jun 18

The World Bank is giving the Maldives $12m to help the island territory in the Indian Ocean improve the way it manages its public finances.

The move aims to boost planning and budgeting, debt and cash management, financial reporting, procurement, and the monitoring and oversight of state-owned enterprises, the bank said.

The Maldives’ Ministry of Finance and Treasury has already reduced the fiscal deficit – slashing it from 10.6% of GDP in 2016 to 2.5% in 2017 – and strengthened revenue collection.

It has also made progress on improving transparency and has made budget and financial information available through an integrated financial management information system.

Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank country director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said: “Financial transparency and accountability are key factors to improve public service efficiency and effectiveness.”

The World Bank support is expected to help improve how the Maldives makes affordable public investments, optimises the costs and risks of public debt, and tightens public procurement.

The bank said modernisation in these core areas of public financial management will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services.

The team leader on the project, World Bank lead public sector specialist Fabian Seiderer, said: “Greater citizen engagement is a defining factor of this initiative, which includes greater disclosure of budget information and financial accounts as well as participatory audits.”

The Maldives project will be funded through an International Development Association grant and credit, and will be implemented over four years.

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