President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday expressed confidence in finding amicable solutions to the challenges faced by local councils in formulating land-use plans in light of the headway made during deliberations during the Viavathi Raajje conference. The second session of the conference, held on Ukulhas Island in the Alifu Alifu Atoll, was centred on land-use plans.
Speaking as the chair of the session, President Solih described broadening the mandate of local councils to include drawing up land-use plans as one of the most significant amendments to the Decentralisation Act. Despite the amendment, the President noted that local councils are facing numerous challenges, to which he expressed hope of finding viable solutions through the deliberations.
President Solih was joined on the panel by Dr Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism; Aminath Shauna, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology; Mohamed Aslam, Minister of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure; Fathimath Afshan Latheef, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Government Authority (LGA); and Ali Niyaz, Member of Parliament for Hulhumalé constituency.
Mohamed Aslam briefed the attendees about the issues identified in proposed land-use plans by the Planning Ministry and discussed ways to address them. Dr Abdulla Mausoom informed the attendees about the requirements of the Tourism Ministry related to local tourism development, while Aminath Shauna spoke about sustainable development practices.
President Solih assured the local government representatives of the administration’s commitment to addressing the concerns raised at the discussions, including the amendment of any necessary laws. He also stated that the administration would work alongside the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to address issues related to civil servants.
The Viavathi Raajje conference would feature two more sessions on Sunday, with the third and fourth sessions focusing on the role of women in development and the direction of the decentralised system of governance, respectively.