HDC suffers near MVR 11 bil loss in free land issuance

Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih launched the 'Binveriya' social housing scheme to resolve housing difficulties Male' citizens faced for years -- Sun Photo

Housing Development Corporation (HDC)’s had incurred close to MVR 11 billion loss, over the free plot issuance under the ‘Binveriya Scheme’ launched during the former government, according to Auditor General’s Office.

In the Budget Position Review, the Auditor General’s Office highlighted the government had agreed to pay MVR 10.5 billion to HDC for the plots issued under the scheme, that includes several plots in Hulhumale’.

The previous government assigned two lagoons, Galufalhu and Maagirifalhu – each worth MVR 3.3 billion – to HDC, as compensation for revenue losses. The report also highlights government has instructed HDC to come to an arrangement with the Ministry of Finance “for making settlement of land costs of MVR 7.7 billion – which is the remaining total.

Land reclamation in Hulhumale' Phase 3: free land allocation driven up HDC losses -- Photo/ HDC

“In our view allocating plots of lands for free under ‘Binveriyaa’ scheme has resulted in a considerable fiscal burden for the government for the upcoming years,” the Auditor General’s Office said in the report.

The former government’s decision to issue lands for free to Male’ citizens drew criticism from the public and the political opposition.

Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih launched the scheme, citing it will resolve housing difficulties Male’ citizens faced.

The then government announced it would issue 9,003 plots among the 18,955 eligible recipients selected during the scheme’s first round.