The Edition


Government ceases to lease islands for tourism development sans bidding

Jaah Ziyad
29 November 2018, MVT 10:18
A lagoon in Male' atoll
Jaah Ziyad
29 November 2018, MVT 10:18

The government ceases the leasing of islands without a prior bidding process for tourism development purposes.

Ministry of Tourism announced on Wednesday that islands, land and lagoons will not be leased for tourism development unless an auction is held to ensure fairer competition.

The Ministry, however, did not reveal a reason behind for the impromptu decision made on short notice.

The ministry publicized the decision while the Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) parliament member Abdulla Rifaau, the representative for South Maafannu of Male’, put forward the reformation of the same bill to the parliament.

PPM took the initiative, however, on 2016 to pass the bill in order to allow the lease of the islands, land and lagoons of Maldives without bidding for it although the ruling coalition party heavily criticized them for passing the bill during the previous administration.

Rifaau’s proposal to the parliament suggested that the Ministry of Tourism must publically make an announcement before auctioning any Maldivian territory for tourism development projects. The ones who win the bid must have presented their case most colourfully among those who have applied according to the PPM’s parliament member Rifaau.

In addition, the proposed reformation to the bill included that the Ministry of Tourism must announce the list of all the existing tourism development projects that is currently being undertaken in Maldives and all their relevant information as well.

The opposition party PPM, on the other hand, contradict their previous proposal to the parliament as they have reported that the islands that were up for auction were not developed well during the regime of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

The previous administration received heavy criticism from the public for allowing the tourism development projects to be undertaken without an auction being held. They believed that the previous government made such changes in the parliament against the constitution.