Parliament dismiss motion against leasing Thilafushi land to foreigners

Thilafushi harbor. (Sun photo / Mohamed Hayyaan)

The emergency motion submitted by Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef against the leasing of land from the industrial area in Thilafushi to foreigners has been dismissed from the Parliament. 

MP Shareef submitted the motion on Tuesday, to the second day of the first Parliament session for the year.

In the submission, the parliamentarian noted that Thilafushi - dedicated for industrial work has been developing financed by the people of Maldives. He went on to note that while locals businesses are facing shortage of land in the greater Male’ region, it would have major negative implications on them and the economy to bid and lease land in this manner to foreigners. That too at lower prices for 99 years. 

Furthermore, he noted that forcing small and medium enterprises to compete foreign businesses to buy land would narrow down opportunities for them. Moreover, this would open doors in the future for foreigners to have control over local businesses.

The parliamentarian accused the government of doing this for a temporary gain, as well as to influence the upcoming presidential elections. 

While a total of 49 members attended the session, 45 of them took part in the voting. However, only nine votes were in favor of the motion, and the remaining 36 voted to dismiss it.

HDC released its policies on issuance of land from the industrial area in Thilafushi last week. According to the policies, foreigners can be leased land for up to 99 years, while Maldivians can own the land.

The minimum bidding rate is MVR 1,700 per square foot.