President Mohamed Nasheed has said that the government will start the work of recovering debts worth more than 1 billion Rufiyaa owed to the government by various parties. The President made this statement in his second radio address to the nation which was broadcast on the Voice of Maldives 7.15 this morning.

He said that this money included tax from tourism sector, rent from tourist resorts, royalties worth 12.9 million Rufiyaa, other rents worth 16 million Rufiyaa, and 116 million Rufiyaa owed to the Maldives Customs Service. The President added that recovering the money was a top priority.

Noting that the delivery of services to the people through public private partnerships was one component of the government’s fiscal and economic policy of the government, the President elaborated on the three ways of implementing public private partnerships. They include:

1. selling shares of 100 per cent government owned companies
2. selling shares and enabling ownership of utilities companies
3. enabling the role of private sector in certain projects undertaken by the government.

He revealed that 12 parties had expressed interest in investing in the utilities companies to provide utilities such as water, electricity, and sewerage systems.

He said the deadline for submitting proposals was 31 July 2009. He said he expected the successful parties would introduce renewable energy and other innovative technologies, and provide services at reasonable prices.

Updating on the government’s project of providing 7000 housing units to the seven provinces, the President said that 22 parties had expressed interest. He said the deadline for submitting bid documents was 10 August 2009.

In his radio address, the President also spoke on his scheduled visit to Sweden to receive the Anna Lindh Prize 2009.

He said that it was a great honour for him to receive this award which, he said, he believed was an award for all Maldivians.

The President will leave for Stockholm on 13th June.

Concluding his radio address, the President said as the ‘Hulhangu’ season approaches, everyone must take extra precaution while travelling.