Today marks the day, the 7th president of the Maldives, his Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih takes the office of the president.
President Solih has been endorsed by all four political leaders and is as described by many as “the hopeful one” who has united everyone by one principle of ensuring equal rights to all.
The President has highlighted his plan for the first 100 days; it is as follows.
1. Lowering Electricity Costs
Electricity Costs are one major issue faced throughout Maldives. Though some measures are taken by the previous administration to lower the costs, nothing material has been reflected on the monthly bill. In cases where electricity bill accounts for 10-15 percentage of the income, this extreme has kept the country troubles for long enough.
All hope is with the president and his tactics to bring down the electricity rates to a reasonable rate.
2. Free Education up to Bachelors Degree)
Education costs can be haunting, and can add up real fast especially if you’re on a student loan program. Free education up to Bachelors sounds too good to be true but is definitely achievable.
This change will ensure all Maldivian students are presented with a choice and are no longer able to afford quality higher education due to financial difficulty.
3. Morning Breakfast meal for all school age students.
A healthy meal everyday, at least once can make the difference of all day happiness and focus for children who are not able to get a decent meal, or skip it. Standardized breakfast meal package throughout the country will ensure all students are taking in essential nutrients and will most likely increase their learning abilities.
4. Required Hajj Pilgrimage to be financed from retirement pension fund.
Hajj Pilgrimage is a major activity on everyone’s to-do list. However the cost of making the trip is upwards of what the average person usually saves up and therefore is never taken off the list for the most people.
By allowing pension fund to be utilized for this purpose will open a much bigger group in to making the trip to Mecca.
5. Restrictions on fishing in Maldives waters for Foreigners
Maldives fishing industry uses pole fishing, which doesn’t affect the whole ecosystem when fishing is done as a business.
However, most of the foreign vessels that does fishing in the Maldives waters uses nets to fish, which includes juvenile fish and other bi products, taking that in large quantity disrupts the whole ecosystem. Net fishing is currently illegal in the country and strict rules on fishing for overseas vessels and enforcing it will reduce the impact on the local fishing industry.
6. No import duty for agriculture products
Sought to reduce the price of local products, effectively reducing it’s imports and a change positive change in balance of payment.
7. Environment protectional activities
Environment advocates are almost only the few concerned individuals on social media and few NGOS. The previous administration has failed to their part in this sector as deeply affected the natural beauty, and the environmental footprint of the country.
The president aims to restore the love for the environment which can only be good.
8. Green Tax to be only utilized for Environment Protection.
Green Tax has been charged for a sometime for the purpose of rebuilding the environment. However not many activities were surfaced over the years.
9. Social housing through island councils.
Island councils / constitutes have been stripped of basically every power, and the concept of decentralization has been overruled by the previous administration. President Solih vision to empower the islands though decentralization will dramatically open island constitutes to make their own decisions, and actually achieve what is best for thier island.
Social housing plots, currently requires the involvement of the Ministry of Housing and often ends up delaying or not approving the request.
10. Country wide air ambulance.
This is a bold and a difficult promise that I am sure President Solih will not have included in the 100 days journey shouldn’t there be a pretty good plan. Whatever the plan is, the outcome of this initiative will be huge. Due to the stranded nature of Maldives islands, reaching to a proper healthcare is essential for every citizen. Sea ambulance, and now air ambulance is another step towards truly caring for the people.
11. Psyciatric treatment through Aasandha
Psyciatric help and treatment is something which is greatly undermined in our community. However, for those who seek such treatment often goes though an expensive process since it is not covered by the national health insurance scheme, Aasandha. Having Aasandha available for psyciatric treatment will for sure help people seeking such help and encourage more to get help.
12. Empowering local councils.
The president also added;
Foreign relations are severed over the years due to various activities of the previous administration. The president will work on to restore the severed relationship with India and other countries.
President continues to add that he will ensure a safe & prosperous environment by empowering the law enforcement and make sure Maldives Police & MNDF is two most trusted organizations in the country.
The people of the Maldives has high hopes with the president Solih. My God give him the strength and wisdom to lead this country in to greatness. J