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State workers awarded flats told to pay ‘booking fee’

The booking fee could be around US$7,000.



People awarded flats under a flagship government housing scheme have been asked to pay a booking fee, local media reported Tuesday.

Staff at the state-owned Malé Water and Sewerage Company were informed they would not get the flats without a down-payment, half of which is a booking fee that could go up to MVR110,000 (US$7,144) for a three-room apartment, Avas reported.

The employees were told they could settle the down-payment through their pension scheme, but this measure is not in place, and they are unable to get loans for flats that have not been built.

The MWSC decided to give about 360 flats for employees under Hiyaa on a points-based system.

The lowest mark is given to employees with land. Higher marks go to employees with children and those with longer periods of service.