Hanimaadhoo MP Abdul Gafoor Moosa (Gapo) said on Wednesday that land issued by the state for residential use must be issued under a policy which ensures the land can be jointly registered to married couples.
Taking part in the parliamentary debate on the Land Act on Wednesday morning, Abdul Gafoor said that Maldives has always issued land under certain conditions, one of which is that the applicant must be married.
He said that the land should therefore be jointly registered to married couples.
“The land that is issued because someone is married or the land that is issued to one’s husband or wife, we need to arrange it so the land issued under this condition is jointly registered to both,” he said.
Abdul Gafoor said that it is worrying that some women are rendered homeless after they are divorced by their husbands after years of marriage.
“It is therefore important to establish that land issued by the state must be jointly registered to both the wife and husband,” he said.
Abdul Gafoor said he hopes local councils will adopt a policy of joint registration of land for married couples when issuing state land in the future.
“This is legally possible even now. I therefore find it important to consider joint registration of land, so that the ownership lies with both the wife and husband – representing the whole family,” he said.
Abdul Gafoor also called for the establishment of a mechanism through which local councils can repossess state land issued to private owners that lie vacant for years, so that they can be issued to people who are in more need of land. The state already repossesses land which lie vacant for a long period of time under special circumstances.