Speaking in this week’s radio address, President Mohamed Nasheed has said that a final court ruling on the administrative centre of atoll councils was crucial for interpretation of Decentralization Act and consolidation of decentralized governance.

The President’s remarks come after Funadhoo Megistrate Court yesterday declared Funadhoo as the central island of Shaviyani Atoll, and the building that housed the Atoll Office, when the new Constitution was adopted on 7 August 2008, as the Secretariat of the Atoll Council, in favour of the case filed by the Atoll Council.

Speaking further on the Magistrate Court’s ruling, the President annouced that the government would appeal the case at the High Court and Supreme Court, if the Attorney General found that the ruling was not in favour the state.

He said the government wanted a final court ruling on the matter in order to define jurisdiction of each party involved in implementation of both principles and processes of decentralisation stipulated by both Decentralisation Act and the Constitution.

In his 91st weekly radio address, the President also underscored the Cabinet decision last week to issue loan guarantees to help complete the construction of residential buildings delayed or discontinued due to lack of finance.

The President noted that out of 1500 building permits issued to construct residential housing since 2008, 47 percent of buildings have not commenced while 20 percent were halted.

He said the government has found that the primary reason for the discontinuation of the construction of the 20 percent of buildings was lack of funding.

The President stated that completion of these buildings would ease the pressure on housing in Male’.

Therefore, he added that the Ministry of Housing and Environment, Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Housing Development Finance Corporation were in discussion to finalise the procedures and standards to issue loan guarantees, and would be announced as early as possible.