A resort had funded the construction of a castle-like house on the presidential retreat island under a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, says Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.
He revealed this at Wednesday’s meeting of the parliament’s government oversight committee, where senior officials of the tourism ministry were presented.
Noting that he was recently in Aarah island for a cabinet meeting, the minister said that he saw that a castle had been built there.
“I saw that castle was built there, under CSR. This was done under CSR. What kind of CSR is that?”
~ Minister Waheed
Noting that it looks like one seen “on cartoons,” Waheed further said that it is “the president’s retreat castle.”
Photos of the three-storey “castle” was leaked on by current Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof, last November, and had drawn outrage and criticism on social media.
The minister also noted that fish tank was built below the mosque on the island, and stated that this was done “under the previous CSR model.”
While this was built during former President Abdulla Yameen's tenure, he is accused of corruption and misrule.
There is a CSR policy framework, which states the amount that can be used. This is to be declared at the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA), which will then be transferred to the finance ministry.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Minister Waheed said that they have brought changes to the CSR policy,
Noting that such work will be publicized from now on, he said that a special committee has been formed to conduct the work.