President Mohamed Nasheed has said the government is hopeful of closing contract for the transport network next month.

The President made this statement in his radio address to the nation which was broadcast on the Voice of Maldives 7.15 this morning.

Elaborating on the progress made in establishing a transport system in the Maldives, the President said that five parties had submitted bid proposals, which are now being evaluated.

He added the government was confident of establishing a transport network as planned.

In his radio address, the President also spoke on the ongoing parliamentary debate on the Decentralisation Bill, which was sent by the government.

The President said the government would welcome amendments by the opposition parties. He said the government’s agenda was to discuss with the opposition parties and to proceed with views.

Reiterating the importance and benefits of decentralisation, the President called on all political parties to set aside their political differences, but to show bipartisanship and resort to deliberation to speedily conclude the Bill.

The President also spoke on his visit to the United Kingdom to participate in a CPA-organised environment conference and an Oxford University organised environment conference.

He said his participation in the forums was covered by the media in the UK. He said an additional benefit of talking in such forums was increasing the country’s tourism and investment prospects.