The Ministry of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure (MNPHI) has released the details of the point allocation system used to select the recipients of 4,000 flats under the ‘Gedhoruveriya’ scheme. The decision to disclose this information comes in the wake of mounting public scrutiny and allegations of unfairness in the distribution of the flats, built by Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation (FDC)

The move responds to a series of protests and complaints about the perceived opacity of the selection process, which resulted in the ministry opening a complaints window until the following Thursday. Speaking at a press conference, Senior Executive Director Mohamed Arif promised to make the individual point awarding process accessible to applicants through the ministry’s portal, a measure aimed at allaying public concerns.

Arif dispelled fears that the ministry could unjustly award additional points to any recipient, stating that the scheme’s structure inherently prohibits such actions. He further reassured the public that the allocation of flats was based on merit and that applicants’ rights would be upheld.

Despite the ministry’s attempts to assure fair play, scepticism persists. Some members of the public, along with President-elect Dr Mohamed Muizzu, have expressed apprehensions, urging a delay in the handover process until after the new administration takes office. This call aligns with the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) directive to halt the flats’ issuance amid ongoing investigations into the alleged irregularities.

State Minister Akram Kamaluddeen highlighted the government’s commitment to addressing any genuine grievances, indicating that any misallocations discovered—even if by mistake—would be corrected. He stated that all complaints would be reviewed, and those deemed valid would lead to re-evaluating the awarding process. 

He emphasised that political motives should not be ascribed to those raising concerns, despite allegations that the criticisms were orchestrated by political adversaries.

Amid accusations that the scheme favoured certain individuals, including those linked to the incumbent government or its supporters, the Ministry underscored its rigorous verification process. 

Senior Executive Director Arif confirmed that no instances of false information provision had been uncovered so far, but any found would result in disqualification. He asserted that 3000 homes of the 20,000 applicants were visited for random verification of living standards, to ensure that the flats were awarded justly.

The MNPHI’s efforts to clarify the selection process and its willingness to address the complaints are crucial steps in reinstating public confidence. As the investigation by the ACC continues, the integrity of the Gedhoruveriya housing scheme hangs in balance, with the incoming administration poised to inherit and address the contentious issue head-on.