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LGA deposits first payment of free aid allocated for councils

Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 January 2020, MVT 13:37
Local councillors at the Viavathi Raajje conference held in December 2019. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 January 2020, MVT 13:37

Local Government Authority (LGA) announced on Thursday that MVR 134 million, from the MVR 1.6 billion free aid allocated for local councils, has been deposited into council accounts.

According to LGA, this is the first payment from the general free aid set aside for local councils from the state budget.

Compared to the MVR 656 million allocated for councils last year, the unprecedented budget of MVR 1.6 billion approved for 2020 entails average increases of 148 percent, 155 percent, and 433 percent for island, atoll and city councils respectively.

According to the policy secretary at the President's Office, Aminath Shauna, the new budget constitutes five percent from state revenue, 40 percent from island and lagoon leases, and 100 percent income via the leasing of any land or lagoon under each island's respective jurisdiction.

The government, which is seeking to fulfil President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's electoral pledge of empowering local councils, also stated that this record budget would allow councils to serve the citizens under their jurisdiction independently without depending on the main administration.

Estimated allocations for councils:

- Islands with populations less than 500: MVR 3.8 million

- Islands with populations of 500-1000: MVR 5.4 million

- Islands with populations of 1000-2000: MVR 7.9 million

- Islands with populations of 2000-5000: MVR 13.3 million

- Islands with populations greater than 5000: MVR 33 million

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