President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, announced that following cabinet discussions, the government has granted island councils the ability to incorporate uninhabited islands and lagoons in their atolls under their jurisdiction, under specific guidelines, to boost their revenue. He made the announcement at a press conference held after today's Cabinet meeting at the President’s Office.
The President noted obstacles despite uninhabited islands and lagoons within 700 meters of an island being under council jurisdiction, such as some islands' jurisdictions lacking an uninhabited island or lagoon and other islands' jurisdictions having uninhabited islands and lagoons leased for other purposes.
According to President Dr Muizzu, there were two main reasons behind this policy’s facilitation. Firstly, to ensure that it complied with the government's national development plan, and secondly, to obtain approval from the residents of the other islands that are part of the atoll, including the uninhabited island or lagoon.
The President additionally highlighted that allowing councils to get such assets without undermining the Maldives' primary industries will strengthen the councils and empower the populace.
The government's "Hafuthaa 14" agenda calls for incorporating resources or places within the island's jurisdiction to benefit the island's citizens.