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MDP warns to withhold approval to cabinet over Fenaka lay-offs

Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 10:53
Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 10:53

Parliament members from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have warned that they will not give approval to the cabinet, citing concerns that the government is laying off staff from Fenaka Corporation.

The utility provider has been scrutinized for its low returns and alleged provision of employment for political motives.

Central-Fuvahmulah MP from MDP, Hussain Mohamed Didi, submitted an extraordinary resolution on the issue during Tuesday's sitting on December 5, where MPs from the parliament's majority party warned the cabinet.

The corporation's new Managing Director, Muaz Mohamed Rasheed, however, assured Mihaaru News that its management has not laid off any of its staff. He added that Fenaka has decided against renewing the contracts of staff who are no longer required.

Out of a total workforce of 7,300 employees, close to 2,000 are contract staff. Muaz mentioned that this exceeds the required number of employees for the corporation.

For contract staff who have either completed their assigned work or if their designated work site has no more work left, their contracts will not be renewed upon expiry, Muaz said.

Makunudhoo MP from MDP, Ahmed Raaee, stated that the current administration's layoff of Fenaka's contract staff, hired for various projects executed during the previous government, is unacceptable.

"For every employee they terminate, we will withhold approval for each minister. They cannot do this, and if they continue to terminate employees with the intention of settling scores, then we will not give approval to the cabinet," Raaee said.

Bilehdhoo MP Ahmed Haleem said that it was unacceptable for the termination of employees from Fenaka Corporation. The MP further said that though he does not have any intention to not give his approval for cabinet ministers, he would be forced not to if the current course of action continues.

"I do wish to give my vote for the cabinet, but if such things transpire, it is obvious we would become sentimental when general members face such plight," Haleem said.

Other MPs who spoke during the debate on the extraordinary motion also condemned the actions of the current administration.

Out of all the state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Fenaka Corporation is the largest employer during former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration.