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Maldives gives notice to GMR, terms deal void: India protests

Posted on Nov 28, 07:24PM | UNI

The Maldivian Government has given a seven-day notice to GMR to leave the Male airport, reports from Male said quoting Attorney General Azima Shukoor.

India had yesterday come out with a strong reaction to the Maldivian decision to terminate the Male airport contract.

The 500 million deal with GMR was scrapped on the ground that it was void.

New Delhi had said, "The decision to terminate the contract with GMR without due consultation with the company or efforts at arbitration provided for under the agreement sends a very negative signal to foreign investors and the international community." The investment by GMR represented the single largest foreign direct investment in the history of Maldives and the Government of India would continue to remain engaged with the Government of Maldives on this issue and would expect that the Government of Maldives would fulfil all legal processes and requirements in accordance with the relevant contracts and agreement it has concluded with GMR in this regard, Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had said.

The consortium consisting of GMR and MAHB (Malaysian Airport Authority) had been awarded the contract to manage the Male International Airport concession through a global tender conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington, a member of the World Bank.

As the Advisor to the Government of Maldives, the IFC has stated that it has complied with Maldivian laws and regulations and followed international best practices at each step of the bidding process to ensure the highest degree of competitiveness, transparency and credibility of the process.

On the other hand, the Maldivian Government has claimed that the previous President Mohammad Nasheed, who was forced out of power last year, had signed the deal under "dubious" conditions and despite objections by Parliament.

New Delhi has urged Maldives "and all concerned parties" to ensure that Indian interests in Maldives and the security of Indian nationals were fully protected.

"The Government of India proposes to monitor the situation in Maldives closely and is prepared to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of its interests and its nationals in the Maldives. The Government of India will continue to be seized of the matter," the MEA spokesperson said in reply to a question.