The World Bank is giving the Maldives a US$12 million financial package to improve the efficiency of its public finances and services.
The finance ministry has made progress in reducing the fiscal deficit from 10.6 percent of GDP in 2016 to 2.5 percent in 2017, the World Bank said Thursday, improved its revenue collection and shifted from recurrent to capital expenditure to support public investments.
“The Ministry has also brought more transparency to its budget and financial information through an integrated financial management information system. Further to that, the Auditor General has taken steps to disclose audit reports on public debt and guarantees.”
Earlier this year research showed that the Maldives had slipped on a global financial secrecy scale, ranking 94 despite its size.
The Financial Secrecy Index, published by the Tax Justice Network, rates countries on their laws regarding the transparency of ownership structures, bank secrecy rules, financial reporting and disclosure requirements.
“Countries which have the most secretive financial systems have often got there because they have allowed their governments to be captured by those with an interest in hiding money flows – criminals, money launders, tax dodgers and others who engage in illicit finance,” a TJN spokesman told the Maldives Independent.
The US$12 million will be used to improve planning and budgeting, debt and cash management, financial reporting, procurement, and state‐owned enterprise monitoring and oversight, according to the World Bank.
The project will be funded by an International Development Association grant and credit and implemented over a four-year period.