President requests parliamentary approval to revise housing project

President Abdulla Yameen has asked parliament to review a previous decision to deny a request to revise a 1,500 housing unit project financed by a Chinese EXIM bank loan.

In December 2012, the previous parliament had denied President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s request to shift 704 housing units originally designated for the southern atolls to Hulhumalé.

An MVR2.5 billion (US$162 million) loan was secured during the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed in 2011 to construct 1,500 housing units in Gaaf Alif, Gaaf Dhaal, Fuvahmulah and Addu City.

In his letter requesting the change – which was read out at today’s sitting – President Yameen stated that the government had conducted a “need assessment” and determined that there was “no need at present” to build more than 796 housing units in the southern atolls.

Since election in November, Yameen has pushed for the development of a ‘youth city’ in Hulhumalé with a population of 50,000 people.

The president’s request was forwarded to the public accounts committee for review by Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed at today’s sitting of parliament.