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GMR row: India reviews aid to Maldives

New Delhi, Dec 7, 2012, DHNS:

India is unlikely to release its budgetary support of $ 25 million to Maldives anytime soon and is set to take stock of the evolving situation in the country in the aftermath of the GMR Group’s imminent departure from the international airport in Male.

Hours before the state-owned Maldives Airport Company Limited was to take over from the GMR-led consortium the control of the country’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, New Delhi on Friday asked Male to rein in anti-India elements in the island nation.

“If any quarters (in Maldives) want that our relations should be harmed, then they should be controlled. I think Maldives and its people know this properly and I am sure that they will do the same thing,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said in New Delhi.

The Court of Appeal of Singapore on Thursday ruled that Maldivian Government could take over the control of the airport from the GMR Male International Airport Limited or GMIAL – a joint venture of GMR Infrastructure and Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad.

The judgment was a setback for the GMR Group that had earlier got an injunctive relief from the High Court of Singapore against the applicability and operations of the notice the Maldivian Government had served the company on November 27 last seeking to take back the control of the airport.

The GMIAL on Friday said that it would abide by the orders of Singapore Court of Appeals and will facilitate a smooth takeover of the airport by the MACL.

“We are taking requisite steps to work out the compensation receivable from the Government of Maldives, keeping in mind the judgment of the aforementioned court and the concession agreement dated June 28, 2010,” the company said in a statement issued from Male.

The GMIAL claimed that it had been assured that its “employees, suppliers and other interested parties” would not be put to any inconvenience.

India is also likely to review its aid packages to Maldives. Confirming that India’s $ 25 million budgetary support to Maldives is unlikely to be released anytime soon, sources told Deccan Herald that New Delhi would rather “closely watch” developments in the nation in Indian Ocean before deciding on disbursement of the fund.

India had in November 2011 signed an agreement with Maldives to extend a Standby Credit Facility of $ 100 million to the island nation.


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