With plans to generate revenue to fund welfare services for the armed forces, the government and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) has registered a joint venture company aiming to invest in various businesses, including the tourism industry.
The “MNDF Welfare Company” registered at the Economic Ministry on Tuesday, is 10 percent government owned, and 90 percent by Sifco, MNDF ‘s cooperative society, which provides welfare services for defense force officers and their families, including subsidised products and loans.
Speaking to Minivan News about the company, MNDF Spokesperson Major Abdul Raheem said the MNDF have been discussing the idea of expanding the cooperative society’s works through a registered company over the past 10 years.
He observed that the main objective of registering the company was to invest and run businesses, which can subsequently generate revenues to contribute to welfare services provided to the 7000 strong-armed force body.
“The allocated state budget is not enough to fund the welfare services. We are facing several financial problems. Therefore, our plan is to register the joint venture with the government and increase profitable business activities,” Major Abdul Raheem explained.
He added that the MDNF Welfare company was registered within legal boundaries, and the company’s board and other necessary decisions will be taken legally and without discriminating between any officers.
MNDF joining tourism?
Asked about the sort of businesses the company intends to invest in, the MNDF spokersperson responded that the discussions are underway and will be announced soon.
Local media Sun meanwhile reported that the company was targeting investment in the country’s main industry, tourism, and claimed islands have been leased for resort development.
Raheem did not verify these reports but commented: “It is hard to confirm specifically which business it will do, but I cannot say tourism is not an option.”
Following reports suggesting the MNDF’ is venturing into the country’s tourism sector, government aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP)’s parliamentary group member Dr Abdulla Mausoom updated his twitter saying: ” SIFCO (of MNDF) & Maldives government venturing into tourism business? This will not promote capitalism, tourism or democracy!”
Mausoom told Minivan News that it was “not visible in many places” for military personnel to form joint ventures with the government and start investing in businesses.
“It is a trend observed mostly in communist states, where everything is run by the state,” he added. “This also seems to be going more in that direction.”
“However, my main concern is that the tourism industry is already saturated,” said Dr Mausoom, who has previously served as the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation under Gayoom’s administration.
He explained the industry was already challenged by the excess supply of resorts, which he claimed had been approved for development without any proper plans.
While several resort islands are now under development at a time when several investors are going bankrupt in the industry, Mausoom suggested that it is “not a good idea for the state to increase injection into the sector through joint-ventures.”
“It may be legal for the MNDF cooperative society to go into joint venture with government and even lease islands without even an open bidding process under the law. However, just because it is legal it does not mean it is the right thing to do,” he contended.
24 thoughts on “MNDF and govt register joint venture for investment including tourism”
Not satisfied just with the revenue from Bandos, Waheed will now nationalize all resorts to further line the pockets of himself and his overlord Gayoom. Hopefully when this news gets put visitors from democracies will boycott the Maldives (although the majority of the visitors nowadays are from China anyways).
So the system work's great...
This looks extremely strange.
It would have been better to bring military welfare along with other welfare programs under a national trust rather than segregate these services.
Really Dr. Mausoom. So The United States must be the biggest communist country in the world. They provide the welfare of their troops through revenue generated from the AAFES system which is one of the biggest public businesses in the country. It will be better to do your homework before you speak, or the Dr. in front of your name can very quickly become a joke.
Not a good move. This may pave the way for a Military goverment in the future. We must not compare to the U.S Army and MNDF. U.S Army was a professional Organisation that doesn't involed in politics and protest and is more mature While the latter is completely opposite with full of dumb people.
It gives yet another incentive for them to meddle in civilian affairs. In their current state, a venture for any reason, in any industry will back fire. I can see the headlines and the buzz in the international tourist industry circles - a military operated hotel, operated under a repressive govt backed by the military.
What an unwise, short sighted move. We are falling backwards in leaps and bounds. All other countries not at war are moving forward.
AAFES focuses on providing services and employment TO military families by setting up shops and restaurants at American military bases. What's is going on here is something entirely different.
The last thing this country needs is another STO
tsk tsk (Arif Hilmy)
Dude, when will get out of sober?? Gayoom ditched you, your family ditched you. Wake up.
Believe me when I say this,
This tourism business is a lucrative deal. MNDF has islands and lagoons currently being used for training and other purposes. For e.g. The lagoon north of giravaru, the island next to girifushi.
These are prime assets in kaafu atoll. Any potential investor will jump at the opportunity to build a resort few minutes from airport.
MNDF will leverage these assets without thinking twice and cut a shady deal without bidding where MNDF leaders will make huge commissions on the side. This whole welfare business is just a facade to cover up the shadiness of this whole fiasco.
What's next. If MNDF can enter tourism, it's more logical n related perhaps to do arms business. When macl was not allowed to change its mandate to enter tourism business, it's absurd MNDF be given this mandate even if they need to raise money for welfare.
This is absolutely absurd and tsk tsk, stand up for the people n petition to stop this daylight crime of epic proportions since no one else seems to bother.
If the foreign policy of Maldives is to be a leader in global themes like genocides, human rights in Syria, LGB issues at the UN Human rights council, Maldives should up its military ambitions accordingly, perhaps on par with Iran.
And our military should be enabled as such. This is a good move to match Maldives foreign policy with its military plans.
Since MNDF & our Police has shown a very unique and extraordinary skills on February 7th it's quite DANGEROUS concept!!!! For the Security forces of course a good one BUT NOT for the people of Maldives!!!
Waheed heading towards a stronger MNDF & Police State as their current Senior Officers worked hard to change the government and that Waheed could make his long-waiting DREAM true, hehehehhe
It would be a great idea, Since the police and MNDF does such a good job operating Doonidhoo island and Gaamaadhoo Island killing and abusing prisoners, not to mention they beat Hussin Sallah to death at Male prison.
@ Valla, The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense, and not a limited liability company and operates very differently. It is in countries where there are military dictatorships that companies are formed by the military to influence and control the economy. Now the whole world will know we have a military government here.
Shaheed Adam Haleem Resort & Spa
"Nazim Fushi Resort"
"Riyaz Veli Beach & Spa"
"Badi Kulhi Resort"
"Maa Sifainge Fushi Resort"
"Kalhuthukkalaa Beach Paradise"
"Bandeyri Fushi Resort"
"Coup d' Holiday Resort"
"Riot Gear Fenfushi"
"Pepper Spray Surf Paradise"
"Evves Saruthakaanulaa Resort"
Golhaa Force Beach Resort & Spa
I guess they could manage well if thy stop providing free meals. I know people who just visit army HQ during their off time just to eat their Dinner/lunch/breakfast.
When the military has it's own source of income instead of taxpayer's money, it does not have to serve or protect the people, it is the most dangerous situation a country can face
@Handibey, awesome point, thankyou!
Sounds like stuff Mahinda and Gota over in Sri Lanka are doing. If there is nothing for the military to do, and if spending for so many military men cannot be justified, disband them appropriately and decrease recruiting numbers. This business-venture decision should be revoked immediately.
this is a very clear sign that the coup leader is no other one that the KAAMINI VAGU MAUMOON KUTTAA he wants the maldives to operate like egypt with the mighty military who has the control over the government business and public
but we will never give any chance to you old duck or your puppets
MNDF and POLICE are to sign an MOU with AASAHARAA and GALOHU MORTURY
Nahtuh Paradise and Bonaqua fenfusih, Sahgaafiee kulihvahru and Abdullah Hameed SPA.
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