State administrative structure needed: Finance Minister

Hussain Fiyaz Moosa, Haveeru Online
Sep 23, 2012 - 05:48
  • Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad speaking during the Parliament's Finance Committee meeting today. PHOTO/ NASRULLA SOLIH

Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad has pressed on the need for a new public management model including the cut down of unnecessary employees and some State institutions.

Speaking during the Parliament's Finance Committee meeting today, Jihad pointed out that the existing structure of State institutions and posts incur increased expenses and hence impeded the State budget.

"Budget cannot be corrected without rectifying the administrative structure. We can charge a lot in taxes, but we cannot cut down on expenditure, he detailed.

To that end, as reform to the administrative structure Jihad proposed to centralize the population and the cutting down of the number of council members and independent institutions.

"Now we might create a Customs Integrity Commission. A Police Integrity Commission already exists. Then we might create a Judicial Integrity Commission. In other countries there's only a National Integrity Commission. That Commission will oversee all matters related to integrity," Jihad said explaining the ways to cut down on independent institutions.

Finance Minister also highlighted that the number of councilors exceed that of employees in some councils and stressed that the number of councilors must be reduced.

He added that the excess number of public companies was a reason for the increased State expenses and insisted that inactive companies need to be dissolved.

Jihad described the increase in State expenses subsequent to the introduction of democracy as a "Tsunami." On that note, while admitting that a democratic system is a costly one, Jihad singled out a lack of thought on the way to finance a democracy as the reason behind the current issues.

While stressing that the State was operating on a deficit, Jihad revealed that so far this year the State expenditure is at MVR9 billion when the revenue had been only MVR7 billion. He further said that he was skeptical that the estimated revenue included in the State budget and the amount to be secured as budget support would be received in full.

The Finance Minister blamed the previous handling of the budget for the present deficit and added that one year was not sufficient to rectify past mistakes.

"The issues that we are faced with today are a result of the way the budget was managed in the past. We need to put our heads down and try to get the budget on the right track. But everyone must work together to achieve this," he added.

Minister said that despite efforts to curb State expenses, signs of non-cooperation are evident from some State institutions and Parliamentarians.

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