New chair for SEZ board after Vice President’s arrest

New chair for SEZ board after Vice President’s arrest
October 26 12:28 2015

Mohamed Saeed, the economic minister, will chair the government’s powerful Special Economic Zone (SEZ) board, the president’s office has said.

The former chair, Vice President Ahmed Adeeb, was stripped of the post amidst an inquiry into an alleged assassination attempt on President Abdulla Yameen. Adeeb is now in police custody.

Ibrahim Muaz Ali, the president’s office spokesman, announced Saeed’s appointment on Twitter today. He was previously the deputy chair of the five-member board.

Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizz has also been appointed to the board. He is replacing former youth minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, who was sacked in July.

The SEZ board grants approval for SEZ applications, issues permits and investment licenses, and formulates rules and policies for the operation of SEZs.

The board also monitors and reviews progress of investments, assesses risk damage and liability, determine rates of fees and charges, and signs investment agreements between the government and developers.

The board is assisted by a 17-member technical committee.

Yameen, in an hour-long address following Adeeb’s arrest, said his deputy has also been stripped of the chair of the Economic and Youth Council, one of the two committees at the cabinet.

Adeeb had amassed too much wealth and power, and used state funds to buy influence within the police force, Yameen said.

The president said he will now personally chair both the economic and social councils at the cabinet.