Maldives fisheries company clears fishermen debt

The debt laden state fisheries company has cleared off debt to fishermen, Fisheries Minister Maldives, Mohamed Shainee said Tuesday.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark national fishermen day in Gemanafushi island late Tuesday, Shainee said Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) had cleared its debt to fishermen in the various regions of the Maldives.

"This is good news fitting of such an occasion," the Minister said without giving too much detail.

The Maldives government had decided to take over MIFCO in October, disclosing that the mismanaged company had amassed a staggering MVR300 million debt.

State Trading Organisation (STO) had announced its decision to convert the debt laden state fisheries company into one of its subsidiaries, and vowed a turnaround of fortunes.

At the news conference held after MIFCO had transferred under STO, the Minister had assured that the company would settle its debt with the assistance from the government.

Shainee said that fishermen are now consulted in solving the issues of MIFCO saying that the government is looking to bring the company back on it's feet by the end of next February.

He further said that with STO taking charge of MIFCO, the price of diesel which was the biggest worry for the fishermen will go down. He also said that discussions were ongoing to make the procurement of diesel easier for fishermen.