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Aasandha spent MVR 9.5 million on Rasfannu running track

Shahudha Mohamed
07 August 2019, MVT 21:11
Rasfannu synthetic track. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
07 August 2019, MVT 21:11

Aasandha Company revealed on Tuesday that MVR 9.5 million was spent for the construction of the synthetic track stretching from Rasfannu to the Tsunami Bina Park.

The company further added that they have yet to receive the funds spent on the project from their budget.

Construction of the track was contracted over to a Singaporean company in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration. The track had to be repaired numerous times since the quality was not up to the standards of the then-Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure.

At the time, the government did not disclose the total cost of the 700-meter track project, built for a target audience of exercisers.

Aasandha's Assistant Managing Director Ibrahim Rasheed told the parliamentary Committee on State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) that documents prove the company acted against the law under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Ibrahim further confessed that Aasadha's budget was spent in ways it should not have been, adding that a case was filed to Anti Corruption Commission requesting to investigate the matter.

According to Ibrahim, Aasandha company spent MVR 9.5 million on the track project because they were instructed to do so in a letter from National Social Protection Agency (NSPA).

Since Aasandha has no responsibility over Rasfannu and the area surrounding it, Ibrahim noted that the company had no reason to spend large amounts of money on the track.

Additionally, Ibrahim disclosed that Aasandha also spent on the 'Hithaanee Camp' funded by 'Sadhagaath Foundation' led by Yameen's wife Fathimath Ibrahim.

Over MVR 100,000 was spent in 2016 and MVR 75,000 was spent in 2017 on the camps, said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim stated that MVR 1000 was charged from Aasandha for every child undergoing circumcision. The company spent on the camps in addition to this, which is not something Aasandha is allowed to do as per Ibrahim.

The top officials of Aasandha Company during the former administration fell under heavy criticism as the budget allocated for the company by Ministry of Finance was utilised in other ways. Some members also noted that MVR 9.5 million is much too large an amount for the track project.

Former Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizzu denied having any knowledge of Aasandha paying for the synthetic track project.

However, he told local media Mihaaru that he was aware of the government instructing NSPA to construct the track at a cost lower than MVR 3 million. The exact cost of the project was not disclosed during his time as minister, Muizzu said.