Finance Ministry instructs to adopt cost-cutting measures
The Finance Ministry has asked government offices to take several measures to implement the approved budget for this year and increase expenditure efficiency.
According to a circular signed by Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, all government offices except councils are required to comply with the circular.
The circular includes the requirements for obtaining permission from the Finance Ministry for the procurement of office supplies and running expenses and travel expenses of the employees. These include not creating new posts without the approval of the ministry and not changing salary structures without the approval of the National Pay Commission.
Although included in the budget, no new allowances that have not already come into effect should be paid within the year without the ministry’s approval. Any post name, rank and salary, and allowances of employees shall not be changed without the approval of the ministry, the circular further said.
The circular also instructs employees to plan their work so that it can be completed during official working hours and does not require overtime work. Only urgent work must be completed during overtime, it said.
Additionally, the Finance Ministry’s approval is required before making official trips abroad. These include study tours and training trips.
Travel by sea and air within the Maldives which costs less than MVR 35,000, must be conducted through the Goods and Services form of the Bandeyri Portal with the permission of the Finance Executive. Approval is required from the Finance Ministry for travels that cost above MVR 35,000.
Furthermore, the procurements of goods and services essential for office administration purposes below MVR 35,000 can be made through the Goods and Services form of the Bandeyri Portal with the approval of the Finance Executive. Procurements above MVR 35,000 require the ministry’s approval before proceeding.
Government agencies were also instructed not to offer scholarships beyond the national scholarship schemes and short-term all-expenses-paid courses and training offered from abroad. Compulsory training programs costing less than MVR 5,000 can be conducted through the Goods and Services form of the Baandeyri Portal with the approval of the Finance Executive, and the Finance Ministry’s approval is required to conduct training above MVR 5,000.
The circular also said any repair and maintenance work that is currently online or has received approval from either the Finance Ministry or the President’s Office could be carried out. Other repairs absolutely necessary to avoid interruption to service can also be carried out, the ministry said.
The Finance Ministry further said there must be no capital expenditures except for capital expenditures included in the PSIP and essential capital expenditures. Capital expenditures less than MVR 35,000 can be made through the Goods and Services form of the Bandeyri Portal with the permission of the Finance Executive. Capital items above MVR 35,000 must be approved by the Finance Ministry.
The councils have also been directed to shape their expenditure in accordance with the circular spending from the block grant and own revenue funds. Councils have been asked to be careful to ensure expenditure is met within the council budget and enhance expenditure efficiency.