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Fushidhiggaru reclamation excluded from state budget

Mohamed Rehan
08 December 2023, MVT 23:23
budget committee / budget 2024
Mohamed Rehan
08 December 2023, MVT 23:23

The reclamation of Fushidhiggaru lagoon has been excluded from the 2024 state budget by members of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which also holds majority of the parliament's budget committee.

The Ministry of Finance earlier proposed a total of MVR 400 million on the following year's budget to reclaim Fushidhiggaru. However, the budget did not specify how the funds would be raised.

During the budget committee meeting, the allocation has been distributed to other various projects instead.

A member of the committee, who spoke with Mihaaru News said that the committee consisted of just two or three members aligned with the current government while the majority of it was comprised of MDP members, who the MP said intervened the project's approval.

"In a clear objection to the government's plan, they decided to exclude the allocation [for Fushidhiggaru reclamation], this is sad given it was the most crucial initiative to resolve housing," the MP said.

During the presidential campaign, the current ruling party announced that it would reclaim 1,200 hectares from Fushidhiggaru lagoon to allocate over 11,900 land plots with another 26,000 housing flats for the public.

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu announced Fushidhiggaru reclamation, which is part of a 20-year development plan. Along with Fushidhiggaru, the current government aims to provide over 65,000 land plots and housing units to the public from Giraavaru, Gulhifalhu, Hulhumalé and Malé.

President Muizzu said that the current administration would ensure housing is awarded to everyone in the Greater Malé region.

While Fushidhiggaru lagoon's reclamation has been excluded from the budget next year, the committee allocated another MVR 400 million for the reclamation of Giraavaru and Gulhifalhu, bringing the total allocation for the projects to MVR 600 million.

Besides Fushidhiggaru lagoon reclamation, the committee had excluded a few small-scale projects planned across local islands as well.

The government allocated a total of MVR 4.4 billion in the budget towards housing and infrastructure development projects.

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