President scraps Housing Ministry, restructures it under Planning Ministry

National Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam (L) and then-Housing Minister Aminath Athifa (C) at the groundbreaking ceremony held for 1,700 housing units in Hulhumale' Phase II on March 11, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Thursday, scraped Housing and Urban Development Ministry, restructuring it under the National Planning and Infrastructure Ministry.

The President’s Office announced in a statement on Thursday afternoon that with the decision, the name of the National Planning and Infrastructure Ministry has been changed to National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Ministry.

The decision comes less than a day after former Housing Minister Aminath Athifa tendered her resignation citing health reasons.

The President’s Office said it its statement that all services previously provided by the Housing Ministry will hereafter be provided by the Planning Ministry, and that all of the Housing Ministry’s staff were also to be reassigned to the Planning Ministry.

Services pertaining to housing and infrastructure development had been run under one ministry during the administration of former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, but were separated into two miniseries after President Solih came to power.

The move had been criticized by some as wasteful, citing the overlap of some of the work of the two ministries.

Mohamed Aslam, who heads the newly renamed National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, had also served as the Housing Ministry during Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s first administration which came to power in 2008.