Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has heavily criticized the Maldives National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI). The minister expressed his views on MNCCI while speaking at the Parliament's Economic Committee on Monday.
The Parliament Committee is currently assessing a bill on the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Speaking at the committee, Minister Fayyaz said there has been no news or updates from MNCCI for a while, and noted that an organization that advocates for local businesses is of extreme importance.
'What I hear are complaints that the land issued to build the Chamber of Commerce is being used to run a local market,' said Fayyaz.
Fayyaz said he met with the founders of MNCCI after being appointed as minister, and that the founders also made several complaints regarding MNCCI. The biggest concern that was shared was regarding the near to non-existent relationship between the business community and MNCCI, and issues pertaining to internal elections of MNCCI, said the minister.
Fayyaz said he believes an organization that advocates for the rights and interests of local businesses is imperative, and that the lack of an active advocate to speak up on newly drafted government policies relating to businesses is a disappointment.
"I do not know who is in charge of MNCCI, I do not know who to call regarding any issue relating to the organization," Fayyaz said.
Established 27 years ago, MNCCI represents the common interests of the business community. While the country's top businessmen have served as the heads of the organization in the past, the organization has been headed by lesser-known businessmen over the past ten years or so. The organization's current president is Ismail Nooraddheen while its Vice Presidents are Ismail Asif and Ahmed Rizvi.