MDP submits emergency motion for permanent fix on fishers' issue

MDP member Ahmed Didi: the MP submitted an emergency motion at Tuesday's sitting seeking for a permanent solution on the ongoing issues local fishers face -- Photo/ Majlis

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has submitted an emergency motion to the parliament, seeking permanent solution on the delay in settling outstanding payments to local fishers.

The motion, submitted by Maradhoo MP Ahmed Didi, seeks a permanent solution on the ovedue payments to fishers demanding it to be settled in the next 48 hours.

Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) is currently facing scrutiny from local fishers, who demand the company pay their outstanding payments.

Due to significant delays, local fishers began protests at Addu Fisheries Complex (AFC) last Friday which intensified later on leading to them shutting the complex down and cutting its power.

At Tuesday's parliament sitting, the motion submitted by Didi was accepted with 74 votes, including the support of ruling PNC lawmakers as well.

The motion specifies fishers and their families have been plighted due to the delays in outstanding payments, despite the state promising to settle it within 48 hours earlier.

Didi's motion urged the government to settle the outstanding amount immediately.

Besides this, the motion also urged not to intervene the ongoing protests by local fishers at AFC.

"Since last Friday, fishers from nearly 400 families or 90 percent of them, have been consistently demanding government to fulfill its promise to settle the outstanding amount," Didi highlighted while submitting the motion.

While MVR 46 million out of the outstanding MVR 90 million was disbursed ahead of Eid-ul-Adha, government claimed it was working to arrange the remaining money soon.

Meanwhile, Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Resources Ahmed Shiyam said the state's top priority for the week would be resolve the issues local fishers faced, including settlement of the outstanding amount.

He however, did not specify the exact date state can settle the amount.

The minister has repeatedly stressed state can fulfill its pledges only after the country's economic conditions improve.