Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairman and Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has expressed growing concern over delays in Parliament’s scheduling of two essential bills aimed at safeguarding workers’ rights. The Industrial Relations Bill and Occupational Safety Bill are of utmost significance to both workers and the economy, but the bills have yet to receive proper attention in parliament, according to Minister Fayyaz.

Taking to Twitter, Minister Fayyaz emphasised the urgent need for scheduling, debating, and passing of these bills as the same way motions are debated in parliament. However, he expressed disappointment with the current state of affairs.

The minister noted: “There is a lack of progress in parliament relating to these bills or the work of the committees.” He added that parliamentary time has largely been consumed by motions, leaving the crucial bills relating to workers’ rights unattended.

The Occupational Safety Bill is currently in the committee stage. Its progress has been halted due to recent party shifts resulting in changes in the committee composition. Additionally, following the initial hearing of the Industrial Relations Bill, no further advancements have been made on this proposed legislation.

“It seems that unnecessary motions are being moved around for political purposes, wasting valuable time in parliament. While resolutions hold significance, they should not overshadow the pressing need to address workers’ rights. The opposition will continue to table motions, and they will find space for them,” stated Minister Fayyaz.

Fayyaz expressed concern about the lack of progress of the bills through the parliament. He emphasised his desire to see the passage of the bills during the current parliamentary term.

The work of the committees came to a halt after 12 MPs left the ruling MDP recently. Discussions on changing the standing committees of the parliament have been delayed as a result.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed acknowledged the departure of the members from the MDP last week. The Speaker additionally stressed the need to reassess the composition of the standing committees, taking into account the proportion of party representatives and non-partisan members. Nasheed further announced the suspension of committee activities until their reconstitution.

Consequently, all committee meetings scheduled for the previous Monday were cancelled. No further progress has been made since then.