The government is seeking to reverse restrictions concerning the sale and lease of state properties, that the ruling coalition parties themselves passed while in opposition.
Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad said the government requested parliament amend the Public Finance Act to remove the requirement for parliamentary approval for the sale or lease of any government property.
The controversial amendments to the Act, passed in June 2010 prior to the airport being award to Indian infrastructure giant GMR, sparked the resignation of then-President Mohamed Nasheed’s cabinet over the opposition-majority parliament’s “scorched earth politics”.
Jihad told local media that the request to amend the Act was made as government faced “difficulties” leasing and selling its property, including land, buildings, and infrastructure, as the law currently demanded that such transactions could only proceed after parliament approval.
Speaking to Minivan News, Jihad said he sent the request to parliament’s public finance committee, and that the government would propose the bill to the parliament floor as soon as parliament sessions reconvened.
“We will send the bill as a high priority bill to the parliament as soon as parliament reconvenes. This is a very important bill for the government,” he said.
He also added that it although the government did have an MP representing President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s party – to present legislation on behalf of the government – this was not required as the matter was “not a revenue bill”.
The amendment concerning the requirement for a prior parliamentary approval was brought to the act on June 2010, by then opposition-controlled parliament.
The amendments were brought to article seven of the Public Finance Act: “any relief, benefit or subsidy by the state” must be given in accordance with laws passed by the parliament.”
The amendment to article 10(a) reads that financial benefits provided by the government in order to pursue its policies must also be issued in line with laws passed by parliament.
However, article 10(c) of the amendment bill states that the government could grant “some financial assistance” from the emergency funds allocated in the state budget under certain circumstances, such as to provide relief after natural disasters.
Meanwhile, 10(d) states that assistance could still be given “if the government believes providing financial assistance to a businessman or a business facing financial difficulties was in the public interest” or if the financial difficulty is believed to impact “the lives of a sufficiently large number of people in society”.
Moreover, article 34(c) stipulates that the government must implement recommendations of the parliamentary committee that reviews the state budget.
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the ruling party at the time, blasted the opposition claiming that the bill was passed to “obstruct the public private partnership policy of the government.”
Several MDP MPs expressed concern over the move, alleging that the opposition wanted to hinder the running of the government.
Among the concerned parliamentarians, MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed at the time said he regretted the bill had been passed and that he was “very concerned” over its approval.
”All the services the MDP has planned to provide for the people will be disrupted according to this bill,” said Nasheed.
”Right now there is a hung parliament and it is very difficult to bring out sufficient results from it.”
Nasheed said that responsibility for the country’s financial condition was the duty of the President and the Finance Ministry, according to the constitution.
”The bill was not approved in the best interests of the country,” he added. ”I regret the approved amendments [governing privatisation].”
MDP Spokesperson at the time, Ahmed Haleem, also echoed similar concerns claiming the bill was approved “according to the self-interest of two or three businessmen in parliament.”
”This bill will obstruct the public and private partnership policy of the government,” said Haleem. “It was not passed for the benefit of the people of the country.”
However, then main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) dismissed the claims made by MDP.
DRP MP Abdulla Mausoom said at the time that the government was required to govern the country “according to the wishes of its people.”
”The parliament represents the people,” Mausoom said, “and according to the bill, the government will now need the approval of the parliament when leasing state assets or taking loans from other countries.”
Mausoom said the parliament “belongs to the people” and would only make decisions “for the benefit of the people.”
“I do not see any article in the bill that disrupts the government’s pledges,” he said. “Privatising Male’ International Airport was not a pledge of the government.”
12 thoughts on “Ruling coalition to reverse own restrictions on sale and lease of state property”
Therefore, stop misleading Maldivians because treachery and mischief will always be a losing game.
Now the public would know how to separate wheat from chaff.
GMR UNFAIR DEAL. THANBURUDHU EVEN UNFAIRER.
They are caught in their own trap. What a failed bunch of politicians.....Do they think we would ever believe them again?
As long as likes of Mariya, Rekko Moosa, Jabir, Jangiya Nazim stays in the system, Maldives politics will never be close to clean and a real people's government
Jihad! It was an amendment brought, in the process of bringing down a government. You were among the people who strongly supported it, now you want to change it for your benefit. Is this the best you can do for the COUNTRY? Qaumee Iththihaad is responsible for bringing down the country to what it is today. SHAME ON YOU
Hehe Now it's clear what's going on. The Chief of the MNDF, The Defence Minister, The Home Minister and Special Advisor to the President get together with the Vice President whose friend Gunnar Lee-Miller is a missionary priest with a PhD.
The surfing missionary now has friends at the top of the Government and he can continue his missionary work with the help of the very people who claim to be guarding Islam.
The people at the top get all the money from the resort deal, the ordinary MNDF personnel get NOTHING. The ordinary Maldivian people get NOTHING.
All this talk about Hardingham and Nasheed trying to bring Christianity from Salusbury Cathedral is all a lot of lies and all the documents are clearly forgeries. The real missionaries are with this Gunnar. Jameel, Hassan Saeed, Deen and other coup leaders are working for them from greed for money.
NOW they need to change the law AGAIN so they can do this DEAL.
Deen introduced his good friend to Nasheed and his government. They spoke with him but refused to take part in the corruption and missionary work. So this was another reason for going ahead with the coup.
Forged documents and lies on DhiTV wont fool us. Wake up to the truth. The evidence is all here and this cannot be forged.
Title : Obligations to Outsiders in Select Texts of the Apostolic Fathers
theses, Fuller Theological Seminary
(The above is the title of priest's PhD)
Author: Gunnar Lee-Miller
Publisher : Fuller Theological Seminary, School of Theology, 2008
Length 416 pages
Epistle of Barnabas
Epistle to Diognetus
Outsiders in the Bible
What a joke!!! And these guys think they can govern? All they are interested in is MONEY MONEY MONEY.
Jihaadh, you should be ashamed of yourself allowing the MNDF resort to be gioven to a foreigner WITHOUT a tender process.
So much so for all the posturing about GMR.
The masks are coming off. Good. Open your eyes, fellow Maldivians still sitting on the fence watching Gayoom take over again and passing judgement on us who have chosen to stand up to the tyrant Gayoom.
Do you really believe there is a future for your children with this lot of self serving self absorbed greedy vultures?
I think we should remind the people about this in our next gathering
This man so called doctor, Gunnar Lee-Millar is helping himself to a new resort (former military island) without the open legal bidding process. But when you have help from Hassan Saeed, the senior MNDF and the Home Minister it is so much easier to slip under the radar. Very strong contacts in Singapore as well which has a CoNI incentive built in.
CORRUPTION IS BACK!!!!
This makes sense, the coup regime will give away an island / resort to secure a favourable outcome in the CoNI report via Gunner-Miller. God help us all.
may god help us.
The fart that came out needs to be returned to the place of origin!
And my! my!
Gunnar Lee Miller!
What a saint!
I am sure the "Sheikhs" would soon comment that this is blessing in disguise (like the ambergris turned lard story)!
Would my dear Sir, Abbas Adhil Riza declare this is not CORRUPTION but simple business!
And this is the work of the MDP!
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