Parliament out of loop regarding Faafu atoll mega project

Members of the parliamentary finance committee pictured during the sit-down on Tuesday. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI

Members of the parliamentary finance committee pictured during a sit-down. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI

The Maldives’ parliament has not been informed of any details regarding the government’s planned mega project for Faafu atoll, disclosed some members of the Public Finance Committee on Sunday.

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) had proposed to the committee last month that the relevant information be shared if the government is in talks with any entity to lease or sell Faafu atoll for projects. However, the Public Finance Committee is yet to hold any meetings.

According to some of the committee members, the government is mandated under constitutional laws to impart certain information regarding mega projects to the parliament. However, the members stated that all efforts to obtain that information have not yielded results.

“The [committee] chair said they would bring us information [about the Faafu atoll project]. But there hasn’t been any details shared with the committee members yet,” said MDP’s parliamentary group leader and Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

He also declared that the opposition party is wholly against external entities holding freehold rights over any lands or properties of the Maldives.

Refuting the circulating rumours and allegations that the government plans to sell off parts of Faafu atoll to Saudi Arabia with debilitating repercussions to the public, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has officially disclosed that the Faafu atoll mega project amounting USD 10 billion is the largest development project to be implemented in the Maldives. He assured the public that there is “nothing to worry about” over the undisclosed details, stating that the information will be released once talks and discussions are over.

However, the president is yet to announce the contractor for the mega project.

Meanwhile, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the Maldives has also countered the rumours, stating that the kingdom has no intentions of buying any lands or atolls of the Maldives nor plans to invest in a mega project of the like.

In the meantime, MDP has passed a resolution vowing to get back lands that are allegedly illegally sold by the current administration.

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