Resort rental fees not President’s property - Yamin

Saturday, 31 January 2009 21:40

Miadhu

The rental charges of islands leased by the government for the purposes of developing the tourism in the country and other rental charges levied by the to government is not the property of the President but are funds accrued as government income, Noonu atoll MP and Leader of People’s Alliance Abdulla Yamin has said.

He made the statement to Miadhu Daily when asked whether it will affect the state budget if the government waives one year of the rental fees of the resort islands leased to various businessmen and whether the President has the authority to do so.

Abdulla Yamin, brother of the former President Gayoom, replied that the state budget which included the government income and expenditure and that the budget states that the government will receive Rf. 1.5 billion as rental fees from various tourists resort islands leased out. He also criticized President Nasheed for waiving some Rf600 million at a time when the state budget is expected to face severe shortfalls.

“The state budget was passed by the Majlis taking in to account the government expenditure and revenue; it states that the government will receive Rf. 1.5 billion as rental fees from various tourists resorts, now recently President Nasheed waived amounts close to Rf.600 million at a time when the government is looking for ways to generate money to run its affairs and fulfill its pledges to the people; this is not the way it should be “Yamin said.

He further said such action raises serious doubts on the government’s sincerity. He said if the government is sincere, it would not waive off money that is coming to the people. In addition, Yamin the importance of Majlis endorsing the budget is also now questionable and that once passed any deviations will require permission from the Majlis.

“Its very clearly said in the constitution that once the budget is passed any deviations will require the specific authority of the Majlis, but the President has just waived off income from tourism industry, this is government revenue going to the state budget, not the president’s property to do whatever he wants,” Yamin expressed.

He further expressed that the new government, which has been in power for less than three months, is acting very irresponsibly. He said the President on his recent tour of the Kolhumadulu atoll has made promises worth more than Rf. 2 billion or so budgeted for the atolls. He criticized President’s promises of providing housing, water and sewerage for small islands with sparse population like Burunee. Yamin further said that all this was aimed at exerting influence on the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

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