President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified on Monday the first amendment bill to the Uninhabited Islands Act (Act No. 20/98). Parliament passed the bill at the 43rd sitting of its third session on Monday, November 28, 2022. The bill rescinds articles in the law that contravene the Decentralisation Act.
The bill grants the authority to island and city councils to govern, according to set rules and regulations, the lease of uninhabited islands in their respective jurisdictions. The bill also prohibits leaseholders from re-leasing, renting, and commissioning supervision and maintenance work to third parties. The bill, however, allows leaseholders to employ staff for supervisory and maintenance work.
The bill also specifies visitor policies, including barring leaseholders from charging a visitor’s fee. The bill also defines instances when lease agreements can be terminated.
The bill grants six months from the date of ratification to draw up new regulations and amend existing ones that pertain to the law. Upon ratification, the bill was published in the Government Gazette and is now in effect.