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ACC to decide on action on flats in 20 days

Mariyath Mohamed
27 November 2023, MVT 16:43
Flats constructed by Fahi Dhirulhun Corporation.-- Photo: Mihaaru
Mariyath Mohamed
27 November 2023, MVT 16:43

Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development Dr Ali Haidar Ahmed has said today that he has received word from the Anti Corruption Commission that it will reach a decision in twenty days on actions to be taken in relation to the 4000 flats the previous government pledged under its Gedhoruveriya housing scheme.

The Gedhoruveriya scheme has a total of 13,000 eligible applicants. However, before the end of their term, the previous administration announced a list of 4000 applicants from among these who will be receiving the first batch of Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation built flats. The issuing of these flats were halted through the intervention of ACC after the matter received over 7000 complaints from the public who were dissatisfied with how the recipients were selected.

Responding to questions posed by members of Parliament's Committee on National Development and Heritage, Minister Haidar said that the ACC has informed him that the first phase of their investigation will take a duration of twenty days. He indicated that if the investigation raises a need for a criminal investigation to be launched into the matter, the duration could be extended.

Haidar said that the current administration raised concerns about the ACC having had issued a halt on flat issuance when they assumed power, and that they are presently exploring ways of allowing the work to resume.

"Our hands are tied because ACC has made this decision and given the order before this administration took office," - Dr Haidar

Haidar revealed that the ACC had been provided access to all forms and some documents on the flat portal, but assured that editing rights are not granted.

He said that the government's decisions on how to proceed with the issuance of flats would rely on the findings of ACC's investigation.

The Minister claimed that the administration has no intention of withdrawing any flats, and that there actions on the matter would be in line with ACC's instructions. He added that it is only after ACC's investigation is concluded that the matter of eligibility will be considered. He went on to assure that all eligible applicants would be receiving a flat eventually.

In today's committee meeting, multiple parliamentarians from Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) described ACC's orders to halt the issuance of flats as unlawful. They raised questions on the Housing Ministry's cooperation with the ACC on the matter.

Haidar replied that the ACC had made that decision during the previous administration, and asserted that there is nothing he can do about the decision.

"Our hands are tied because ACC has made this decision and given the order before this administration took office," the Minister said.

The previous administration initially attempted to go ahead with the issuance of flats even after the ACC ordered a halt on the matter, though they ultimately complied with the order.