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Parliament Secretariat rejects rent moratorium bill, requests amended version

Mariyam Malsa
06 May 2020, MVT 14:06
Maavah MP and PNC vice president Mohamed Saeed. PHOTO: PARLIAMENT
Mariyam Malsa
06 May 2020, MVT 14:06

The Parliament Secretariat, on Tuesday, rejected the bill proposing an eviction moratorium in the capital city of Male' to prevent landlords from evicting tenants facing financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and requested that the bill be resubmitted with amendments.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed stated that the bill, submitted by Maavah MP Mohamed Saeed, the vice president of opposition party People's National Congress (PNC), was sent back for amendment because it did not comply with parliamentary regulations.

The bill was rejected on the grounds that it included matters relating to government expenditure and revenue. As per regulations, legislation including such clauses can only be submitted by the state.

However the parliament speaker expressed eagerness to debate on the bill and urged MP Saeed to resubmit the bill with amendments. Nasheed also added that he would hold discussions with political leaders on accepting Saeed's bill.

The 'COVID-19 assistance bill' submitted by MP Saeed, the former Minister of Economic Development, prevents the eviction of tenants that have paid at least 50 percent of rent.

As per the bill, the moratorium will remain in place until emergency measures enacted in response to COVID-19, including the halt on issuing on-arrival visas, are removed.

Furthermore, the bill proposes allowing citizens to use one-third of the total amount accrued in their pension fund by January 1, 2020.

The Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services is currently providing accomodation and shelter for people financially impacted by the pandemic, as well as those displaced as a result of the ongoing travel restrictions. As of April 26, a total of 89 individuals remained in state-provided shelter facilities.

Male' City Council has urged any homeless or forcefully evicted individuals in the capital to contact the gender ministry via its hotline '1412'.

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