In order to ease the dollar shortage, the cabinet has today decided to give letters of credit facility to importers of basic food items and other necessary commodities to the Maldives. This arrangement would be made under the 50 million dollar trade credit facility provided to the Maldives by the Indian government.

The cabinet made this decision at today’s cabinet meeting after deliberating on measures to be taken to address the dollar shortage in the Maldives.

A committee consisting of senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development, will review applications for receiving letters of credit, and give the letters of credit in a priority order.

An announcement will be made by the Ministry of Economic Development on the arrangements for issuing letters of credit. The Ministry will also publicise the details of those who receive the letters of credit.

The government believes that this measure would ease the problem of dollar shortage.

The increased number of expatriate workers in the Maldives has contributed to the problem of dollar shortage in the Maldives. It is estimated that every month more than US$ 2 million are being sent out from the Maldives by the expatriate workers. The cabinet members noted that reducing the number of expatriate workers was also an important measure to be taken.

At today’s cabinet meeting, the members also deliberated on the ongoing management auditing of government ministries undertaken by the President’s Office.

The purpose of a management audit is to appraise the performance of offices and to evaluate the services being provided by the offices.

The President’s Office is currently doing the management audit of the Ministry of Health and Family.

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed will supervise the management audits of government ministries.

At today’s meeting the cabinet also discussed on introducing an informative national identification number to citizens. The national identification number would be used for the purposes of government benefits, healthcare, pension, tax administration and other governmental purposes.

The members of the cabinet agreed on the importance of introducing a national identification number and to modify the national identification number issued by the Department of National Registration into an informative number.

It was also agreed that only this number would be used by all government offices as an identification of individuals.

At today’s cabinet meeting, members also discussed the areas for giving national honours and shields. The members decided to conduct a review of the current honour system by a ministerial committee. The members of the committee are Minister of Civil Aviation and Communication, Mr Mahmood Razee; Minister of Human Resources, Youth and Sports, Uz Hassan Latheef; and, Minister of Education, Dr Musthafa Luthfy.