Econ Minister hits back at criticism regarding project delays

Economic Minister Fayyaz has responded to claims that the current government's development projects make slow progress.

Speaking at a ceremony held Sunday to hand over the development of Hanimaadhoo International Airport to India's JMC Company, Fayyaz said the projects undertaken by the current government are works that should have been done by the governments that ruled the country over the past 30 years. Noting that the current administration was carrying out several development projects, Fayyaz said these were projects that other governments had failed to carry out.

"Whether one wants to believe it or not, it is a fact clear as day. You can see it happening even if you don't believe it," he said.

The Minister said the criticism regarding delays in projects would not come if the work required to run a project and raise funds were truly known. The government would not stop the work after implementing it and will try to identify ways in which the project could further benefit the people, he said.

Fayyaz said although some major projects started by previous governments have come to a halt, the development of Hanimaadhoo Airport would not be interrupted. Noting that work on the project began right after President Solih won the 2018 Presidential Election, the Minister said the development of the airport would be witnessed before the 2023 Presidential Election.

Minister Fayyaz said the government is now giving top priority to the development of southernmost Addu City. In this regard, dredging land for Addu City islands, and for the construction of resorts, development of Gan International Airport, and building Addu City roads to modern standards are currently ongoing at various stages, he said.

The Economic Minister said the government also hopes to bring revolutionary changes to northern islands. He described the Hanimaadhoo International Airport as one such project.