Sunday 21st Apr 2024
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Minister Fayyaz

Minister Fayyaz States That India Out Movement Poses Threat To National Food Security

Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that since some necessary foodstuffs were imported from India, the "India Out" movement could lead to the worsening of relations between both countries and could pose a threat to Maldivian food security.
Minister Fayyaz made this statement during a session of the Parliament Commttee on National Security Services (also known as the 241 Committee). The 241 Committee had recently launched a large-scale inquiry into the possible ill effects the "India Out" movement may have on the Maldives. The inquiry had been requested by Majlis Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party.
He claimed that the movement was intended to stop the aid that India provided the Maldives.
He claimed that India exported certain foodstuffs to the Maldives under special quotas; foodstuffs that the country would otherwise not export. He said that such a movement could become an obstacle.
"Our food security depends a lot on foodstuffs imported from India", said Minister Fayyaz.
He said that chicken eggs, potatoes, onions, rice, flour, sugar, and lentils were widely consumed by Maldivians as basic foodstuffs. India had always granted quotas for these foodstuffs three years ahead, he said. These quotas were made under an agreement that could not be altered even by changes to Indian government policies, he said.
These foodstuffs could possibly be imported from other countries, he admitted. But, he said, the items may not be available in the quantities required.
In addition, sand and gravel was short in supply throughout the world, he said. However, the Maldives receives a specially-privileged supply of sand and gravel from India.
He claimed that the "effects" of the "India Out" movement had already begun. MP Ghassan Maumoon (PPM-Guraidhoo) requested the Minister to detail the effects. The Minister responded that the ill-effects have not yet been observed.
Although India does provide foodstuffs to the Maldives under a special quota, the quota is suspended if the Maldives were to do anything that India disapproves of. India had stopped exporting sand and gravel to the Maldives under the Yameen administration, and the Maldivian government at the time responded by importing from other countries.