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Maldives to lease 27 uninhabited islands in Gaafu Dhaal atoll

Fathmath Shaahunaz
09 February 2017, MVT 11:48
G.Dh. Maareha island. PHOTO/SOFWAN
Fathmath Shaahunaz
09 February 2017, MVT 11:48

The Maldives government put up an additional 27 uninhabited islands in Gaafu Dhaal atoll for lease on Wednesday.

In a notice, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture stated that it will sell bid forms at a rate of MVR 20 from February 12 to 20, while processing fees will be accepted from February 27 to March 2.

The government had previously put up 50 islands from Gaafu Dhaal atoll and 17 islands from Gaafu Alif atoll for lease last year, in addition to islands from the atolls of Baa and Alif Dhaal.

Meanwhile, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had declared in his Presidential Address last Monday that state revenue has significantly increased from island leases. The State Budget 2017 projects that the state will earn MVR 3.2 million from leased islands and another MVR 16 million from islands given for agriculture this year.

Islands put up for lease (Varuva) are those selected from islands under the Fisheries Ministry’s management.

The maximum lease period for islands put up for Varuva is 10 years.

The regulations on uninhabited islands were amended towards the end of last year. Under these amendments, the government is authorised to take back islands leased under the old regulations, and lease them again under the new policy.

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