By Ibrahim H. Shihab/Maldives Republic
Male, November 17: The Maldivian President-elect Dr.Mohamed Muizzu, unveiled his first 100-day plan on Wednesday during the ‘Week 14’ event held at Dharubaaruge.
The 100-day plan includes 172 projects at a cost of MVR 250 million (US$ 16.1 million), with a focus on “freedom and sovereignty, the Islamic faith, patriotism, housing, and structural development, as well as the economy, environment, women, youth, arts, and sports.”
The plan aims to create a thriving and compassionate society, with emphasis on education and training, and legislative reform. The plan will prioritise housing, the economy, the environment, and health, Muizzu said.
Removal of Indian Troops
Under ‘freedom and sovereignty,’ the removal of Indian troops will begin the moment he takes office, Muizzu said, reinforcing one of his main campaign pledges. Some members of the audience were sporting ‘India Out’ t-shirts.
In addition, the government will commence work to remove any conditions that threaten sovereignty and national security in “secret agreements” with other countries while also moving to fully reclaim Maldives’ territorial waters.
Dhivehi and Islamic Identities
The Muizzu administration will establish a Dhivehi National Heritage Research Centre and a College of Dhivehi National Heritage. It will also triple the budget for the renovation of mosques while launching a system to continuously monitor their condition. Additionally, the administration will set up a National Printing Press.
The incoming administration will also seek to reduce rents for social housing within its first 100 days. It will begin dredging in the Fushidhihgaru Falhu lagoon and accelerate construction at the Velana International Airport (VIA) and the Thilamalé Bridge.
Additionally, the administration will also assist councils in developing land use plans to formulate a Maldives development Master Plan covering the next 20 years, while also aiming to completely solve water and sewerage issues across the nation.
In terms of the ‘economy and environment,’ the administration plans to reinvest US dollars in the Sovereign Development Fund, draft more robust legislation, and halt debt monetisation.
‘Coastal tourism’ will be launched in Addu Atoll, and an agency will be established to market the nation’s fisheries sector. The administration aims to formulate a policy to make state-owned enterprises more profitable, initiate a debt policy that will not disrupt the economy and finances, draft and submit to parliament a bill on the expansion of the real estate business, introduce an employment policy for all, expand the role of fishermen in the management of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), develop a national register of fishermen and taxi drivers, begin work on the acquisition of wide-body aircraft by the national airline, draft a travel agency bill and submit it to parliament, initiate a MVR 100 (US$ 6.4 million) million business loan program for women, and introduce a viable legal mechanism for online business, among other initiatives.
In the area of ‘women, youth, arts, and sports,’ the administration will focus on increasing the number of women heading state-owned companies and introduce a MVR 100 million (US$ 6.4 million) start-up loan scheme for women.
Additionally, the administration will work on a football complex, explore legal solutions to obstacles related to sending and receiving money through online payment platforms, initiate legal reforms to protect female employees, develop a plan to provide opportunities in the field of coding, and establish a ‘Fit Maldives’ portal for sports associations.
Regarding health and wellness and the delivery of a ‘compassionate society,’ the administration will fully cover bone marrow transplants through Aasandha, while introducing treatments for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), endometriosis, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
A 24-hour psychiatric helpline will also be launched. Additionally, every citizen will be eligible for medical check-ups via Aasandha. The administration will also roll out a plan to establish ATMs in all islands, announce a free Hajj policy for financially challenged citizens initially capped at 1,000, allow those over the age of 65 to remain in employment, and formulate employment policies for people with special needs.
In education and training, a reform of the national curriculum and the establishment of a research fund will be undertaken. Additionally, the administration will commence construction of a new building for Arabia School, initiate a project to build island hostels, and develop teaching programmes for art and drawing.
Policy and legislative reform will look at the possibilities of creating separate ministries for fisheries and agriculture, establishing a specific ministry for sports, amending the Assembly Act, and drafting a Bail bill, transferring Hulhumalé’s municipal services to the Malé City Council, establishing a specific ministry to strengthen decentralisation, and creating a ministry for Dhivehi language, culture, and heritage.
Renewed importance will be given to commemorating occasions of Islamic significance at the national level.
A publication, which included all of the president-elect’s campaign speeches, was also released at Wednesday night’s event, with the incoming President once again assuring attendees that transparency would be a hallmark of his administration.
“People have said that publishing this book [of speeches] is very dangerous. What is there to hide? Once an administration is elected to serve the people for the people, there is nothing to hide,” the President-elect said.
Muizzu will be sworn in as the eighth President of the Republic of Maldives at the Republic Square in Male’ City on Friday.