Rasmale', an MVR 70 B corruption: Easa

MDP parliamentary campaign's spokesperson and Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa --

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) campaign spokesperson and Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa has accused the Rasmale' Project, one of the largest urban development initiatives in the Maldives to date, is an MVR 70 billion corruption.

Easa said this on Monday evening at an MDP press conference.

According to Easa, the government has agreed to grant 70 hectares of land to Sri Lanka's Capital Marine and Civil Construction (CMC) in exchange for the land reclamation of Fushidhiggaru lagoon to develop the new island.

"We have been telling repeatedly that this involves a shocking degree of corruption," Easa said.

The MP further said the lowest rate for a land transaction from Greater Male' region is MVR 6,500 per square-foot, while beach front plots from Hulhumale' Phase II were sold around MVR 10,200 per square-foot around the culmination of the previous government.

"Even by factoring the lowest rate for a land value, the total would be between MVR 70- to MVR 100 billion," Easa explained the value of the alleged 70 hectare land sanctioned for CMC.

He said the opposition party was not making up lies, and added their claims can be validated by inspecting the recent history in land transactions and sale price.

Easa called out to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the case regardless of public complaints.

Previously, Urbanco had confirmed Fushidhiggaru lagoon is being reclaimed by CMC in exchange of granting 70 hectares of land to the contractor; which includes 10 hectares leased between 49 to 50 years from Hulhumale' and another 60 hectares from Fushidhiggaru.

Earlier, parliament Vice Speaker Ahmed Saleem submitted an extraordinary motion seeking answers on the project. The motion claimed current government has not disclosed the project cost or other details including how it commissioned a dredger for reclamation.

While the state is expected to allocate MVR 600 million for the project in the 2025 State Budget, another MVR 350 million would be allocated in the following year's budget.

Although Rasmale' is among the most ambitious plans of the current government, MDP opposes the initiative.

The opposition party argues the money allocated for Rasmale' project should be better redirected on completing Gulhifalhu and Giraavarufalhu development initiatives.