At a press conference held today at the President’s Office, President Mohamed Nasheed has said the only reason why he has not ratified the amended Public Finance Bill is that enactment of the bill can block government subsidies. However, he added the government already was complying with all provisions of the bill except the subsidies provisions.

Highlighting that there were a number of needy people, the President said government could not allow the various kinds of subsidies that it was providing to come a halt as a result of the bill.

The President acknowledged that the intention of the MPs who voted for the bill was not to stop those basic services to the people, adding that the government wanted a solid legal framework for its social protection system.

He said as soon legislation for government social protection system was passed, the Public Finance Bill could be enacted. He added that government had requested the main opposition DRP for talks on legislation for government’s social protection system.

According to the amendment proposed to article seven of the Public Finance Act, “any relief, benefit or subsidy by the state” must be given in accordance with laws passed by the People’s Majlis.