Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has stated that they will only be issuing land from Thilafushi to companies that have been registered under the government's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy.
HDC announced the sale of 50 plots of land from Thilafushi, an island planned to be developed as an industrial hub, on February 7th.
Land will be sold to companies with 100 percent local shares – while foreign companies will be issued the land for a period of 99 years.
They have decided to sell land fully to companies that have 100 percent Maldivian share, while foreign companies will be given the land for a time period of 99 years.
Both the government and HDC have faced public backlash due to their decision to issue land for foreign companies for extended amounts of time. The backlash comes not only from the opposing political party but also from the general public and members of the main ruling party, MDP.
In a statement following the backlash – HDC said that foreign companies will only be issued a few plots of land from those available. Regardless, many who are against issuing land to foreign companies have described the policy as a ploy to issue land to Indian companies that are already undertaking projects in the Maldives.
Responding to the allegations, HDC, in another statement last night, said that foreign companies that have been registered under the FDI policy will only be able eligible to participate in the bidding for the land while companies based in the Maldives for construction on project basis will not be eligible.
HDC further said that they, alongside Economic Ministry, will verify whether the foreign companies will be utilizing the leased land plots under the scope of work allowed for the company under the FDI policy during the bidding process.
HDC stated that land plots are being issued from Thilafushi for industrial purposes in order to ease the difficulties faced by businesses in carrying out industrial work.
Under the master plan for Thilafushi, HDC is preparing to reclaim a total of 150 hectares of land from the island.