The Sovereign Development Fund (SDF) collections declined by MVR 3.4 million compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance.

According to the latest weekly fiscal report by the ministry deposits to the SDF, as of 21 March, stood at MVR 233.2 million; deposits over the same period last year stood at MVR 236.6 million.

While the total annual SDF collections for 2024 is projected to reach MVR 1 billion, President Mohamed Muizzu, during recent parliamentary campaign events, claimed that the SDF had just USD$2 million at the end of the previous administration. The current administration had already accumulated US$35 million and is set to bank US$100 million by the end of this year, Muizzu said.

The first bill to be introduced by the administration to Parliament was the SDF Bill, which the legislative body rejected.

The Sovereign Development Fund was established by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom with the stated objective of cushioning the state from a debt default due to unforeseeable shocks to the nation’s economy.

Initially set up as a US dollar-denominated fund, prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the shortage in US dollars (USD) during the pandemic, saw the accumulated funds converted to Maldivian Rufiyaa on 30 December 2020 under the Solih administration.

One of the first orders of business for the current administration was to reconvert the fund, and subsequent deposits, to USD.