Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)’s Governor Ahmed Naseer stated on Wednesday that while he is unaware of all the loans given by China to Maldives, according to information given by the Chinese Ambassador, the debts incurred total at approximately USD 1.5 billion.
In response to questions raised by the committee investigating state budgets, Naseer said that China had given the Maldivian government loans amounting to USD 600 million. Adding that he did not have credible documents indicating the extent of indemnities, Naseer affirmed that the Chinese Ambassador had totalled guarantees at USD 900 million.
“In consideration of the statistics received by MMA from the Ministry of Finance, we estimate that the direct loans from China and government borrowings are approximately USD 600 million. However, with that statement, we do not have verifiable information [to the fact],” said Naseer.
Following the statement, Naseer detailed that, although estimates of the guarantees are as per the figures given by the Chinese Ambassador, the central bank could not clarify to what amounts and for what purpose the guarantees had been allocated.
Furthermore, Naseer stated that Maldives should refrain from acquiring newer loans and adding to its considerable debt.
Over the last few months, different parties have put forward varied estimates on the debt owed to China by Maldives. However, the Chinese Ambassador recently clarified that the loans amounted to no less than USD 1.5 billion dollars.