President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has said that even with the budget constraints, it will soon commence three projects for the benefit of the people.
Speaking to reporters prior to departure to Mecca to participate in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) President Waheed shared information about the three projects. President Waheed said that the government is working on facilitating opportunities for students seeking higher studies. He said that around 1,000 students seeking higher studies will be provided loans and scholarship opportunities within the next few months.
“This project is to commence soon” he said. However he did not reveal if the assistance was provided from the government or from foreign aid.
Apart from the loan assistance to students, President said that he anticipates the construction of the Laamu Atoll link road to commence before the end of the year. He added that the preparations for the project are progressing rapidly.
“In addition, there is many other road construction projects going on right now, especially in Kulhudhuffushi and in Addu Atoll, both these projects will go on at a fast speed. The work is now being carried out.” President said.
President Waheed said that two urban health clinics will be established to develop the services offered at Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). He said that the purpose of it is to bring these services closer to the people in seeking the services in Male.
“The purpose is to find out where there is a shortage of clinic services and to extend the services of IGMH to these areas. We think that this will decrease the demand in IGMH right now.” President said.
In response to the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) allegations that the government does not do any good for its people, President said that he had promised not to stop anything which benefits the people, on the day he was sworn in to office. He said that all the government planned projects will be carried out.
“As you are aware that the issue of acquiring the excess funds needed to support the project of building housing for 190 families from Male has been discussed and finalized with the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC). Work on the project will commence once the Parliament's Finance Committee approves the project,” Waheed said.
He said that the construction work of many housing projects is on track. He said that awarding of flats will be commencing at the end of this year.
“We are working on carrying out the ongoing projects as planned” President Waheed said.
Speaking about the trip to Mecca, President Waheed said that the main focus of his talks will be on the issue of the unrest in Syria, issues facing the middle-east and on strengthening friendship and Islamic unity.
“I anticipate playing an important role in the meetings in creating unity and friendship among Islamic countries as Maldives is also an Islamic country” President Waheed said.
President said that the Islamic Ministry fund to repair and restore mosques is being carried out in a fast pace and that many other plans are being made through the fund. Highlighting the importance of such funds, President said that it is crucial to have a sustainable fund to assist Islamic activities. He added that discussions were held with the Islamic scholars who visited from Saudi Arabia, to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan, on assisting the fund and that he would also be holding discussions about it on his trip to Mecca.
President earlier said that he would pray for Maldives on his trip to the holy city. President’s Office said that the President is to return back after the visit to Mecca, next Saturday.