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A speedy driving licence scheme? Not so fast!

The theory and practical exams were condensed so they could be taken in one evening.



Driving licences have yet to be issued to some people who took part in a speedy application scheme three months ago, local media reported.

Ehlakin, which was run by the Maldives Transport Authority, issued licences to more than 3,000 people by condensing the one-week theory and practical driving exams so they could be taken in one evening.

A driving licence is usually issued to people who pass the MTA’s theory and practical tests that are taken once applicants have had driving lessons.

Applicants who took the test in June told Avas that three months later they had yet to received their licence despite repeat visits to the transport authority. The licence is granted when the applicant receives an SMS.

“People who took the test after me have even received their licences. Ehlakin didn’t get me a licence, it got me a scam,” one person said.

Deputy Economic Minister Abdulla Mohamed told Avas that most applicants had received their licences, but some had not been granted because of administrative issues. A call or SMS has been sent to clarify the delay to those applicants.

“Licence application issues, such as lacking submission of an ID card copy or a stamp, or those with payment issue are those that are incomplete and held back. All other licences have been handed over to the applicants,” Mohamed said.

Almost 1,600 people got a licence for the first time through Ehlakin. The rest were either renewing their licences or adding new categories.

The scheme raised fears about higher congestion levels in the capital and caused controversy over its politicisation, after the economic ministry used hashtags for President Abdulla Yameen’s re-election campaign and photos of Yameen to promote it.