The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has heavily criticised the proposed housing budget for the year 2015 for lacking clarity and new projects aimed at providing adequate housing.
While speaking at a press conference today, MDP housing committee chair and former environment and housing minister Mohamed Aslam said that the funds allotted towards housing projects for the upcoming year were for projects initiated by the MDP government elected in 2008.
The record MVR23.4 billion (US$ 1.58 billion) proposed budget – currently under discussion at the parliament’s budget committee – has MVR1.4 billion (US$90 million) allotted to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, of which MVR83 million (US$5.3 million) is recurrent expenditure.
The MDP housing committee noted issues in the 2015 budget such as the inclusion of a feasibility study of the proposed Malé-Hulhumalé bridge for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017.
The committee also brought up issues with a budgeted land reclamation project at Gaaf Dhaalu Thinadhoo, saying that the project has been ‘unnecessarily’ dragged on until 2017.
The land reclamation project in question has an allotted MVR9.8 million (US$635,000) for the years 2015 and 2016 while the actual MVR168 million (US$11 million) required for the land reclamation project has been delayed until 2017.
Previously, the MDP budget review committee described the overall 2015 budget as ‘aimless’ and as serving administrative purposes alone.