The Parliament has thrown out the government’s proposal to lease islands without a prior bidding process for tourism development purposes.
The bill proposed by the Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) member of the Parliament Abdulla Rifau, was rejected after 41 members voted against the bill. 22 members of the Parliament voted in favour of the bill. The bill was removed from the Parliament with the overwhelming support from the ruling coalition.
PPM took the initiative, however, in 2016 to pass the bill in order to allow the lease of islands, land and lagoons of Maldives without bidding for it although the ruling coalition party, Maldivian Democratic Party at the time heavily criticized it.
Rifau’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 present their case most appropriately.
Rifau suggested that the existing law that denies bidding for tourism development projects will allow corruption. Furthermore, he noted that many people have raised their concern over the existing bill.
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 tourism development projects to be undertaken without a bidding process. They believed that the previous government made such changes which goes against the constitution.