Veshifahi program on hold on ACC order

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has ordered Planning Ministry to put the 'Veshifahi' program on hold.

Veshifahi program was launched during former President Mohamed Nasheed's administration to develop adequate housing in Male'. Under the program, those who lack proper housing in Male' are given the opportunity to give up their land in the city and receive flats or land plots in Hulhumale' in return.

During Wednesday's Parliament sitting, West Henveiru MP Hassan Latheef inquired from Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam whether the current administration would continue the Veshifahi program, as per main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s pledge.

In his response, the minister said while he believes the program must be continued as it was carried out by the previous administration, ACC believes there are some aspects of the program that need to be investigated. Therefore, the Anti Corruption Commission last month informed the ministry to halt the program, the minister said, due to which there is no way forward to carry out the program at this time, he added.

'My opinion is that this program must be continued. However, it has been halted as per the instruction of other legal entities.We also intend to issue land from Gulhifalhu to those who give up their plots in Male'. As we have previously mentioned here [at the Parliament], reclamation in Gulhifalhu will produce 1200 land lots, and these 1200 lots will be utilized for the Veshifahi program', Aslam said.

66 plots were put up for sale under the Veshifahi program in 2018. However, the plots were not sold at the time. Plots are available in all four wards of the capital city, including 11 plots in Galolhu, 25 in Henveiru, five in Macchangolhi and 25 in Maafannu.