'Will resign if expat issue remains unresolved': Economic Minister

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has declared that he will resign from his post if the issue of illegal expatriates in Maldives is not resolved.

Speaking at a press conference held Wednesday, Minister Fayyaz revealed that a task force, which includes cabinet ministers have been put together to tackle the issue of illegal foreign workers in the Maldives. Revealing that the task force will be headed by the Economic Minister himself, Minister Fayyaz added that the government's objective is to solve the expatriates issue in good faith.

When asked regarding what he would do in the case where the government's efforts fail, the minister said he would resign from his post.

"If the issue is not solved, I will step down from my post", Fayyaz said.

The previous administration also made numerous efforts to solve the expat situation. However, the issue has not been addressed effectively thus far.

Minister Fayyaz said a large number of illegal foreign workers resided in the Maldives, although the exact number is unknown. He estimated the number of illegal expatriates to be over 50,000.

While the issue with expatriates is a major problem in Maldives, the foreign workforce is mainly made up of Bangladeshi nationals.

The government on Wednesday declared that the quota limit for Bangladeshi workers has been reached. Therefore, no more Bangladeshi laborers can be brought into the country for a period of one year.