Anti Corruption watchdog suspends government’s flagship loan scheme

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) today suspended President Abdulla Yameen’s flagship loan scheme, Get Set, after receiving a complaint alleging corruption.

The ACC declined to reveal additional details.

Minister of Youth and Sports Mohamed Maleeh Jamal insisted the youth entrepreneurial loan scheme was transparent and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

“We do not have anything to hide. It is being carried out much more transparently than that. We have given all the information ACC wants, including copies of files of the mark sheets,” Maleeh told local media.

Get set program was originally launched by president Yameen’s government to help young businessmen with establishing and starting up of their businesses.

The Get Set Program offers loans between MVR 300,000 ($19,506) to MVR 800,000 ($52015.61), to Maldivian entrepreneurs between 18-35 years of age. The deadline for submission was February 28.

The Ministry of Youth previously reported it had received 570 applications and had shortlisted 107. These will be sent to the Get Set programme board, who will determine the final recipients.

“The forms have not been forwarded to the Get Set board yet. They are still with a preliminary technical committee. The members of the committee are very knowledgeable and carrying out their task very well and very transparently. The committee also includes an observer from the UNDP. We the guarantee you there is no space for corruption,” Maleeh said.

The ACC has said it will complete the investigation as soon as possible.