Housing Minister Dr. Mohamed Muizzu on Tuesday declared that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has permitted the ministry to proceed with the issuing of land plots from Hulhumale Phase Two.
The graft watchdog had ordered to halt issuing land on Sunday, soon after the housing ministry announced that 400 land plots of 1,000 square feet are to be sold to citizens of capital Male City, at a rate of MVR 400,000, from reclaimed suburb Hulhumale's second phase of development. ACC had stated that it was looking into complaints submitted regarding the issue, and to temporarily cease issuing of land until the investigation was completed.
In the meantime, the housing ministry also came under fire amidst questions raised by the public whether the ministry was authorised to sell land from Hulhumale, which falls under the jurisdiction of Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
Responding to the issue in a press conference held Tuesday, Dr. Muizzu proclaimed that ACC has permitted the ministry to proceed with issuing of land plots. The minister also shared that he, along with Minister of Finance and Treasury Ahmed Munawar and the Economic Youth Council, had held discussions with HDC.
According to Muizzu, HDC permitted the sale of land plots from Hulhumale, following which the economic council of the President's Office had determined the rates at which the plots are to be sold.
The minister further asserted that the housing ministry's role is to determine the recipients of the social housing scheme, whereas HDC will receive the payments and hand over the plots.
Regarding the recipients, Dr. Muizzu revealed that the applicants will be evaluated and awarded marks from total 100 points. The 400 applicants with the highest marks will be entered into a draw to choose the land recipients.
In response to a reporter's question, Dr. Muizzu also elaborated on why the government is proceeding with the project during the ongoing transition of power. The minister proclaimed that issuing land from Hulhumale Phase Two was previously planned, and that the government had decided against proceeding with the project just before the Presidential Election which was held September 23.