'Development is not measured by infrastructure' : Nasheed

President of main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has stated that the party 'does not measure development with infrastructure'. Nasheed made the statement while speaking at a local council election campaign event in GDh. Vaadhoo.

Meeting with the residents of the islands on Thursday, Nasheed said all governments include smaller development projects in each year's budget. The number of projects are increased each year based on the revenue earned by the state, said Nasheed.

Nasheed said MDP is different as it is the only party that attempts to decentralize the country's administration. While recent amendments to the Decentralization Act allows all Public Sector Investment Programmes (PSIP) under MVR 5 million to fall under local councils as sectoral grants, Nasheed said the purpose of the amendment was to establish a system that would allow funds to be circulated within the island.

The former president of Maldives added that it is MDP that is working to expand the economy of islands through decentralization. The governance system is not acceptable to former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom and his party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), said Nasheed.

However, MDP wishes to bring about development to islands through empowering its residents, said Nasheed, announcing new projects planned for implementation in Vaadhoo. This includes free degree education programs, school breakfast programme and extending paid maternity and paternity leave, said Nasheed.

Nasheed further emphasized that he does not believe development is measured in the amount of infrastructural projects carried out, and that he believes true development is facilitating ease for the country's citizens.