Skip to main content

Missing from interim arrangement: State enterprise commission


Both Majilses are busy proposing independant commissions that they think will benefit democracy and protecting rights of the people. There is one area they have ignored or have forgotten;
  • Safeguarding the assets of the people owned by state enterprises
  • Protecting state enterprises from bad management and politics.
State owned companies are often used as a political tool to reward people who show certain affiliations or punish people who refuse to show loyalty towards the establishment. Hence top management team and the Board are often cluttered with people who would not know how to read a financial statement even if it hit them on the head. When it comes to appointment of people to the top jobs in these companies, competencies required to take state enterprises, to a competitive level locally and internationally, often takes a back seat.

The consequence is-
  • At one time or another most of state enterprises have gone bankrupt or have faced serious financial problems because of corruption and also because of bad management.
  • Assets of state enterprises (wholly or partially owned) are often used during political campaigns. These assets include the staff, funds or cash and other assets such as vessels (sea and land).
Hence saving only civil servants (dhaulathuge muvazafun, they are not government servants) is not enough to hold free and fair elections now and beyond. Politicians on all sides need to prevent state enterprises (wholly or partially owned) being misused by any party for political gain.

Introducing totally independant State Enterprise Commission with the mandate of
  • Appointing board of directors to state owned enterprises.
  • nominating people for board of directors in companies that is partially owed by the state
  • regulating state enterprises
  • regulating prices of utilities (electricity, water, basic telephony)
Formula to Appointing members to the commission could be similar to other Commissions already formed.

One may say that all such problems will be solved if we privatized state owned companies. State owned companies that can be privatized should be privatized. The question is do we have time for that during the interim period. Anyhow state ownership of companies will continue since some goods cannot be left to govern based on free market principals. Even if all including utilities are privatized, prices of such companies are regulated in most countries by a commission. In such a mechanism utility prices cannot be used to score political points during election. Till we see such a day, a State enterprise Commission is a must to safeguard assets owned by the people and to protect state enterprises from bad management and politics.


Popular posts from this blog

Joke: Understanding Maldivian political system

A joke I received from a friend. Modified to add Maldivian flavor. Read and N-joy! Son: "Dad, I have to do a special report for school.Can I ask you a question?" Father:"Sure son. What is the question?" Son: "What is Maldivian Political system?" Father:"Well. let's take our home for example. I'm the head of the family, so let's call me Government. Your mother makes the most decisions in the house ,so let's call her Majlis. We take care of your needs, so let's call you The People.We'll call the maid The Working class and your baby brother we can call The Future. Do you understand son? Son: "I'm not really sure,dad. I'll have to think about it." That night awakened by his brother crying,the boy went to see what was wrong. Discovering that the baby had seriously soiled his diaper,the boy went to his parents room and found his mother sound asleep. He went to the maid's room,where,peeking through

Towards a more equitable budget

The article was published in Maldives Economic Review in its December 2019 Issue 2.  To read the full article click link at end  World Bank in an introductory economic report on Maldives in 1979 states that “Male dominates the political, economic, and social structure of the country. It is here that a small national elite presides over the archipelago's affairs and takes decisions that are crucial to the well-being of the atolls. Not surprisingly, a disproportionate share of government expenditures directly benefits Male and ensures its residents a standard of living that is substantially higher than in the atolls The other islands now rely upon it as their main trading post and contact point with the rest of the world” Fifty years later Male’ has become one of the most congested cities in the world with a population density of 65,201 per km according to National Bureau of Statistics of Maldives. Top reasons for migration as per census is; as a return migrant, educati

Can we, women of this country, have some space to grow food and offer food security to our family?

Illustration by Aishath Rishtha   Translation: “When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money”  The article was published in  Maldives Economic Review  in its March 2020 Issue 3.  To read the full article click link at end  2014: Think about it? In 2014, I started writing a book using census and all available economic data on every atoll including data on how many uninhabited islands each atoll has. I thought that showing demographic, geographic and economic data will make people realize we need to do something about abandoning such rich resources for a congested living in Male’…. I shared the first draft with friends and mother thinking everyone will be very pleased. They weren’t happy. Major problem seemed to be - “just throwing data on people is not enough… we need to talk about some solutions. Take food security for one…..” Outline of the article 2014: Think about it? 2016: Write a