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No summon for former Housing Minister raise members' concern

Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 15:36
Minister for National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam speaks at the parliament -- Photo: Parliament
Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 15:36

Members of the Parliament's Committee on Petition have raised concerns after former Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam was not summoned at Wednesday's meeting, on December 6.

The committee is currently investigating a petition submitted with regards to the Gedhoruveriya social housing scheme of the previous government, led by former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

The agenda of Wednesday's committee meeting included questioning senior officials of the Housing Ministry regarding the scheme. The former State Minister of the Housing Ministry, Akram Kamaluddin, and Senior Executive Director Mohamed Arif attended the meeting on behalf of the ministry; however, Aslam was absent.

Both Akram and Arif lead the Flat Committee formed under the former President's government.

Ungoofaaru MP from The Democrats Mohamed Waheed, while speaking at the committee meeting highlighted that his proposal to summon the senior officials of the ministry was approved during the last meeting. In this regard, Waheed added that Aslam should be present for the meeting in his capacity as the most senior official of the Housing Ministry.

MP Waheed had questioned about Aslam's absence.

The chair of the Committee on Petition, Mulaku MP Ibrahim Naseer, said that invitations were extended to both Akram and Arif since both of them had been the most senior officials directly involved with the social housing scheme, due to which Aslam was not invited.

"Akram led all efforts of the Gedhoruveriya scheme, under the instruction of the Minister, and he has been summoned on the expectation that the State Minister is the most privy to the matter from the ministry," Naseer said.

South-Henveiru MP from The Democrats, Hassan Latheef had expressed concern over Aslam's absence at the meeting as well, and argued that the meeting can only proceed in his presence.

"We have certain questions we need to direct at the minister exclusively; the state minister is not equipped to respond to those," MP Hassan said.

Despite MP Waheed's demand to summon the former minister, the decision was not approved through voting at Wednesday's meeting. The committee decided to proceed in the presence of both Akram and Arif instead.

While highlighting that committee meetings were not interrogations, Kelaa MP Ibrahim Shareef said that the officials had been summoned to inquire about information regarding the social housing. The MP believes that the officials most intimately involved in the housing scheme's procedures were the most privy to provide information on the matter.