Haveeru Online has reported that the Majlis (Parliament) has passed a bill to allow lease of land for upto 35 years and also to allow for Maldivian nationals and legal entities with hundred percent Maldivian ownership to purchase more than one plot of land.
The Majlis however failed to bestow upon the potential landowners a social responsibility to cater for the homeless and those deprived of affordable housing.
Today, land is given for commercial purposes on the basis of lease or sublease from the government and the Majlis should have applied the same principle for lease and purchase of land on inhabited islands for commercial purposes. They should have introduced a tax on land used for commercial purposes. That would have been socially responsible. However, the sense of social responsibility is only visible by its non-existence in the Majlis.
The allocation of land for commercial purposes should have actually being widely allowed and the allocation of free land to private owners should have been prohibited by law. That was the opportunity that this amendment gave to the members of the Majlis. The parliament should have insisted that housing should be given to the people on the basis of flats and by establishing infrastucture for upper class housing through condominium programs.
I feel that members of the Parliament should go through a thorough orientation in liberal democratic principles, economic development, and social responsibility amongst other things. Hopefully such induction programs will happen in the future to ensure that those who decide the fate of this nation are better equipped intellectually, emotionally, and as people’s representatives who are enlightened beings with regard to people’s needs.