With the Government’s abolition of the Island Development Committees (IDC), funds belonging to the residents of the islands kept in accounts under the care of the IDCs have now become the responsibility of the Island Councilors.
The Government announced the abolition of the IDCs on 1st December. However, Island Offices in some of the islands have said that they refused to accept the decision just because the Government had made the announcement on the media and that if the funds in the accounts opened in the name of residents – containing millions of Rufiyaa – were used for projects determined by the Island Office, then the senior officials would be facing some severe criminal charges.
The Island Chief of Thaa atoll Veymandoo, Adam Shareef, said on Monday that even though the Government had announced the abolition of the IDCs, they would only recognize the decision once they were officially notified in writing. He further said that when the IDCs were abolished, no decision had been made on how to handle the funds belonging to the residents.
“It is very troubling that no decision was made about the residents’ accounts,” he said. “We are using the funds in the accounts to provide services to the people. We need the funds to continue providing the services. The problem now is that the people who signed the cheques on behalf of the IDC previously are not sure if they can continue doing so as the IDCs no longer exist.”
Shareef said that previously the cheques to take money from the residents’ accounts had been signed by the Island Chief, Island Councilor and a member of the IDC.
“With the abolishing of the IDCs we are not sure what to do if we need to take money from the accounts,” he said.
Two accounts opened in the name of two of the island’s residents contained over Rf1.2 million, Shareef said.
The Assistant Island Chief of Alifu Dhaalu atoll Maamigili, Junaid Ibrahim, said on Monday that they were going to hold a meeting to decide what to do with the funds which were under the care of the IDC. He also said that the Government had not notified them officially about the abolishment of the IDC.
“We have not received any official word that the Government has made any decision regarding this,” he said. “A Committee meeting will go ahead tonight too. Whatever the media may say, we can only accept it when we get official notification from the Government. Even thought the Government has made the announcement, we are still going ahead with two projects funded by the residents’ accounts.”