MIFCO to be run separately from STO

Fishermen dock at Felivaru to weight their catch. (File Photo/Sun/Najah Masood)

The government has decided to have the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) – currently run as a subsidiary of the State Trading Organization (STO) – run as a separate, fully state-owned enterprise.

At a press conference on Tuesday, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu described making MIFCO a 100 percent state-owned enterprise as a key pledge on his manifesto.

President Muizzu said that 10 key decisions were made during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting – which ran from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm – including discussion and a decision on a paper presented regarding having MIFCO run separately.

“Therefore, we will be completing all procedures in this. The purpose of this is to facilitate the fulfillment of our pledges to fishermen to improve and develop the fisheries sector in the coming days,” he said.

President Muizzu said the cabinet has decided to establish a separate corporative for fishermen which will serve as one of MIFCO’s shareholders. He said the process will be carried out after MIFCO is turned into a separately run entity.

Having MIFCO run separately and establishing a fishermen’s corporative are two of President Muizzu’s electoral pledges.

MIFCO was established in early 1993, after renaming the FPID. MIFCO was made a subsidiary of STO during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration to address the issue of its high debt.