The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has announced a comprehensive revision of the police salary structure, confirming an increase of 35 percent in salaries for all police personnel starting this month. 

The pay rise comes at a time when the Ministry of Finance, in a bid to reduce state expenses and manage the precarious nature of the nation’s current cashflow, has urged all state agencies to implement, among other precautions, a halt in remuneration increases and for all expense above a MVR 35,000 threshold to be expressly approved by the ministry.

Detailing the revised pay structure, Police Spokesperson Chief Superintendent of Police Ahmed Shifan explained that the adjustments are designed to reflect the workload and responsibilities of police personnel more accurately. 

The revised salary framework introduces four primary allowances: a basic salary, rank allowance, job allowance, and risk allowance, ensuring that officers are compensated according to the nature and risks associated with their duties.

Shifan highlighted the aim of the revision is to reward diligence and direct service to the community, marking a departure from the smaller, disparate allowances previously awarded. “This overhaul addresses long-standing issues within the pay structure, effectively eliminating minor allowances in favour of more substantial, consolidated ones,” Shifan stated, indicating that the rank allowance could nearly match the basic salary.

Under the new scheme, the salary adjustments are dynamic, changing according to the officer’s role and departmental assignments. For example, the base salary of a Constable, previously set at MVR 11,820, will now start at MVR 15,500, with the potential for increases based on allowances and duties such as patrol and shift work, which could elevate an officer’s monthly take-home to MVR 17,000 or more. Additional provisions such as a food allowance have been introduced for officers unable to access regular meals due to their work commitments.

This revision is the first of its magnitude since 2009 and fulfils a key campaign promise by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, who also pledged to increase the salaries of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) personnel. 

Muizzu, during his presidential campaign, first said that MNDF and police salaries would be doubled. However, he later explained that the increase would happen across his term in increments. There would be an initial increase of 35 percent in the first year, followed by a 25 percent increase in the second year, with the remaining 40 percent increase coming in the last year of his term.

The adjustments for MNDF staff are scheduled for the following month, with enlisted personnel expected to earn between MVR 15,000 and MVR 45,000, Warrant Officers between MVR 29,000 and MVR 46,000, and Officers between MVR 31,000 and MVR 75,000, although these figures are yet to be officially confirmed.

The state, in 2023, spent a total of MVR 1.2 billion to provide remunerations for the police — MVR 510.9 million for salaries, MVR 731.7 million for allowances and MVR 33.4 million on retirement benefits.

Additional reporting by Ibrahim H. Shihab