We have seen violent protests held in the last two days on the streets of Male’ by youths and opposition political parties.
The purpose of the protests is to express anger at soaring food prices. The protesters demanded the US$ be brought to the previous official rates of MRF12.85 per US Dollar.
Of course, everyone would like the food prices to go down, the US$ be more available at cheaper rate than now, and people love to raise their living standards. However, is violence the best way to achieve this?
The protesters maybe satisfied if the government restores the previous Dollar rates. Will that solve our economic situation?
Let us see the bad effects of violence on the economy.
Maldivian economy is heavily dependent on tourism for foreign exchange earnings. Tourists come to Maldives to see the peace and harmony. Our uniqueness is gone when our streets are no longer quiet and peaceful.
Violence is bad for the businesses. The private businesses generate many jobs. Anything that is bad for the business is bad for the economy and it is bad for us in turn.
If the restoring the previous dollar rates cannot solve the economic problems? What is the solution?
The solution lies in our hands. Everyone has a part to play in it. Let us see a few things that we can do.
We may need to change our lifestyles. It is our tendency to spend all the income we get on unnecessary things. We currently waste a lot of money. Let us economize as much as we can at home. Let us do a few odd jobs at home that we currently let a ‘bangaalhi’ do for us. Let us save that money from going out of the economy.
The fuel prices has gone up since two days back. Now it is MRF15.02 per liter. Let us minimize our fun and unnecessary motorcycle rides. If everyone minimizes it, that can make a big difference. Remember that a penny saved is a penny gained.
Let us buy as much Maldivian farm products as we can. Cucumbers, chillies, papayas, bananas, watermelons, mangoes, pumpkins and many more are grown by Maldivian farmers. Many hotaas still use imported chillies. However, nothing can beat the Maldivian ‘githeyo mirus’. Let us create a bigger demand for Maldivian farm products. That will help the economy.
What can the business owners and companies do?
Choosing Maldivians for jobs rather than giving it to foreigners. Even if Maldivians ask for a little higher salary than the expatriates, employing Maldivians have many advantages. Click here for a detailed explanation.
Maldivians may not work be willing to take up jobs at the rate that the companies give for odd-jobbing labourers.