Muizzu: The government raised fish purchasing rates “very wrongly”

Dr. Mohamed Muizzu speaks at a campaign rally in Male' on September 24, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

Opposition PPM-PNC coalition’s presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has remarked that the current administration raised fish purchasing rates “very wrongly”.

State’s fish company, Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) has raised the rate at they buy fish for MVR 25 on September 15th. The move came after repetitive concern from fishermen over the absence of fair prices for their catches.

Although the increase in the rate has addressed the concern of fishermen – the burden now shifts to private companies in the business of purchasing fish.

In an interview to Sun, Muizzu said the government raised the fish purchasing rates “very wrongly”, as it had been done out of a sudden, without any prior notice.

He cited this as the reason behind private companies’ decision against purchasing fish.

Muizzu stressed the need to consult the private sector when taking such major decisions.

“When controlling the prices, it should be done by cooperating with individuals working in the private sector as well. The opportunities they deserve should be facilitated to them,” he added.

Muizzu, who is contesting along the President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the runoff of the presidential election slated for this weekend, has pledged to increase the fish purchasing rates and sustain it at the same rate.

When asked about his plans with regard to these matters – Muizzu said he planned to work collaboratively with everyone. Underscoring that he will hold discussions with individuals involved in all aspects of the fisheries sector after assuming office if elected, Muizzu said he will only initiate efforts to increase the fish purchasing rates only afterward.

The opposition candidate said sudden implementation of anything, even with a goal, would render it much harder to achieve that goal.