Urbanco's Revenue Gap Prompts Government Intervention

In a financial update, Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer revealed that Urbanco's actual income fell short of the anticipated revenue from land sales. Presenting the supplementary budget for 2023, Minister Ameer highlighted the necessity for a substantial injection of MVR 611.7 million into Urbanco from the government's budget to manage cashflow, primarily due to rent reductions from Hiyaa flats.
The supplementary budget, totaling MVR 1.2 billion for state-owned enterprises (SOEs), allocates a significant portion to address critical financial needs. A major focus includes fuel subsidies, with MVR 530 million earmarked for Fenaka Corporation and State Electric Company (STELCO).
A noteworthy capital injection of MVR 291.3 million has been designated for the Road Development Corporation (RDC) through a treasury loan, emphasizing the government's commitment to vital infrastructure projects.
Minister Ameer pointed out that the government's annual spending on fuel subsidies is expected to reach MVR 1.8 billion, influenced by the global surge in oil prices. He also emphasized the concentrated efforts on the Aasandha health insurance scheme, allocating MVR 1.2 billion in the supplementary budget to address increased medical expenditures by the public, which saw a decline during the Covid-19 pandemic.
To ensure the sustainability of the Aasandha system, the minister outlined plans for significant reforms, including bulk procurement of medicine in 2023 through an agreement with the UNDP. This strategic move aims to streamline the system and reduce inefficiencies.
Minister Ameer noted that redirected revenue from cross subsidies contributes to injecting capital into SOEs, reflecting the government's commitment to supporting critical sectors. With the initial approval of MVR 42.8 billion for the 2023 state budget, the supplementary budget of MVR 6.5 billion brings the total to MVR 49.4 billion, underscoring the government's responsiveness to emerging financial dynamics.