Fish purchase price reduced to alleviate financial strain: Minister

The fish purchase price was decreased to MVR 20 per kg due to the increased financial burden on the state, Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam has said.

The purchase price of fish for MIFCO was increased on September 16, 2023, by the government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Responding to a question by Dhaandhoo MP Yaugoob Abdulla at Monday's parliament sitting, Minister Shiyam said the price of fish was increased to MVR 25 in the last MDP government without sufficient research, primarily for political motives.

“We see the government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih increasing MIFCO's fish purchase price from MVR 17 to MVR 25 as a political move,” he said.

Minister Shiyam noted that President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu pledged not to decrease fish purchase price beyond MVR 20 during the presidential campaign.

“He made the pledge considering global fish prices, with intentions to implement significant reforms in MIFCO's management," he said.

The export market's fish price stood at $1,450 per tonne, equivalent to MVR 22.40 per kilogram.

"The increase of fish purchase price from MVR 17 to MVR 25 certainly became a decision to buy fish at a loss of MVR 2.60 even without considering running costs of MIFCO," he said.

Minister Shiyam said the government would have to spend MVR 1.1 billion in subsidies if fish were to be bought at the same price this year.