In his weekly radio address broadcast on the Voice of Maldives this morning, President Mohamed Nasheed has urged all political parties of the Maldives to opt for dialogue among them on national issues.

Speaking on the government’s progress towards achieving its pledges, President said the government had the means to begin a number of development projects within next few months.

He said, with proper frameworks and funds, government could move ahead with a number of other projects.

In this regard, he stressed the importance of a speedy passage of Taxation Bill proposed by the government through the People’s Majlis. He said this would complement the government’s policy to increase its income.

Congratulating the newly elected leadership of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), he urged the newly elected Leader of the Party Ahmed Thasmeen Ali to work to expedite the passage of the Bills proposed by the government.

In his 36th radio address, the President spoke on the measures being taken to ensure the fast recovery from the economic downturn, and finance the budget deficit.

He revealed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had agreed to provide budgetary support for the Maldives.

The President has previously appointed the Minister of Finance and Treasury Ali Hashim as the representative of the government with full authority to sign and execute two loan agreements with ADB.

President Nasheed stressed, since these loans were allocated to finance budget deficit, the government should strive for self sufficiency. He further said, if the government were able to execute the IMF programme and the 2009 and 2010 budget, by 2012 the we would attain a budget surplus.

In this week’s radio address, President also briefed the public on the State visit by the President of Timor-Leste Dr José Ramos-Horta.

The President also said within a year since the government began publishing government announcements exclusively in the government gazette, the government was able to save about Rf 30 Million.

Before concluding his radio address, the President noted the significant increase in the number of tourists arrived in the Maldives in January. 67,478 tourists arrived in the Maldives last month. This was the highest number of tourists arrived in the month of January during the past five years.