Minister of Planning and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam on Wednesday stated that the total cost of 36 approved development projects exceeded MVR 1 billion.
According to the minister, state-approved projects include 14 harbour development projects, 11 water and sewerage projects, seven road development projects, three water system projects, and one project to establish a sewerage system. He revealed that the total cost of carrying out these development initiatives added up to MVR 1.1 billion.
Minister Aslam stated that the ministry was conducting discussions with contractors regarding 41 projects and that the tendering process was ongoing for 20 projects. A total of 39 projects are being funded by donors.
Additionally, Minister Aslam revealed that several projects could not be launched in the earlier half of 2019 due to the likelihood of interruptions as a result of low budget allocations. The projects in question will commence later in the year as per an organised plan.
Adding that the planning ministry had formulated a schedule according to the availability of funds, the minister guaranteed that all 36 projects approved under the 2019 State Budget would commence within the year.
When questioned by Maradhoo MP Ibrahim Shareef concerning the delay in reclamation and harbour development of Maradhoo, Seenu Atoll, Minister Aslam stated that an insufficient amount was budgeted for the reclamation project. He added that there was no documentary evidence of Maradhoo's reclamation project being contracted to a third-party.
The minister stated that the government planned to finance Maradhoo's projects under the credit line extended by India’s Export Import Bank (EXIM).
Furthermore, the Minister also revealed that efforts to publicise a national development plan by mid-August were underway.
In response to a question posed by Thimarafushi MP Abdulla Riyaz, the infrastructure minister added that assistance would be sought from all government ministries once the national development plan was drafted.