Gov't begins disbursing payments to fishermen amid protest

Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam has confirmed that the government has commenced disbursing overdue payments to fishermen.

Local fishermen have staged protests over the past three days on Kooddoo island, home to MIFCO's fish factory, demanding payment for supplied fish from the government.

According to earlier statements by Shiyam, the outstanding debt owed to fishermen at the start of the new government's term was MVR 200 million. Prior to the protests, the government had already disbursed MVR 400 million to fishermen. The government indicated that MVR 300 million remained unpaid when the fishermen initiated their strike.

On Wednesday night, Minister Shiyam said of the MVR 100 million that the government promised to be released before next Monday, MVR 70 million would be released that day and the following day. The remaining amount would be released before March 5.