CABINET is still deliberating whether or not it will accept an urgent recommendation by the High Level Panel on Economy to place a moratorium on the allocation of fishing rights.
This was stated by the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa, while presenting the 4th Cabinet meeting decisions.
Simataa stated that Cabinet in its 3rd decision meeting perused through the report and embraced its recommendations.
“The recommendations made in that report going forward still need to be workshopped. The process of engaging further with the report is still going forward. When going forward with the allocation of fishing right allocation, Acting Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Albert Kawana, will deal with the issue.” Simataa said.
This month, the fisheries ministry published newspaper inserts with a list of names of applicants for long-term fishing rights that are set to be allocated by the end of March.
In its report, the High Level Panel on the Economy, chaired by Johannes Gawaxab, recommended that instead of relying on the government to assess the merits of competing firms’ business plans, an open bidding process should rather be used to select those who qualify for the rights.
The panel further recommended that using an open bidding process, the government could raise significant amounts of money, which at the moment only go to a few individuals “and thus exacerbate inequality in the country”.
The panel further stated that an open bidding process is transparent, and gives rise to less political controversy when compared to other allocation mechanisms.