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Debt-Ridden Govt To Pay USD 250 Mn To GMR Over Termination Of Airport Contract

in News by

Maldives government has been ordered to pay USD 250 million to Indian infrastructural company GMR by a 3-member Singaporean Arbitration Tribunal in its final order over illegal termination of contract to run Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

gmr

The court ordered government to pay USD 208 million in damages with interest which amounted to approximately USD 250 million, Maldives Attorney General Mohamed Anil was quoted as saying by the Sun Online.

“The compensation covers the debt, equity invested in the project along with a return of 17% and also termination payments and legal costs. The compensation is net of taxes that GMIAL may be required to pay in the Maldives,” the company said, according to an Indian newspaper.

Maldivian government under the then President Mohamed Waheed terminated USD 500 million GMR contract on November 27, 2012 alleging legal and national security implications following which the company moved a plea to the international tribunal for award of damages and  loss of reputation due to abrupt termination of the contract.

GMR had won the contract for 25 years through competitive global bidding process and the agreement was signed on June 28, 2010 under ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s government.

Problems for GMR began when it decided to levy USD 27 for Airport Development Charge (ADC) and insurance charge, which was struck down by a civil court. The company had called the decision “unlawful and premature” and said the notice was devoid of any locus standi, as quoted by The Hindu.

The contract to expand and maintain the international airport was then given to Chinese company Beijing Urban Construction Group and which was later awarded to in May this year.
Saudi Arabia, known as one of the closest friend’s of the Maldives, also granted the single largest loan of USD 100 million to the to the expansion of INIA in September this year.
Government is already facing highest deficit at 14.4 per cent, highest deficit since 2010, according to World Bank which warned in May that the Maldives is at risk of external debt distress and public debt could rise from 73 per cent of GDP or USD 693.7 million to 120 per cent of GDP by 2020 owing to large infrastructure projects.

Gayoom Brothers’ Rivalry Rips PPM Apart; Yameen Govt Set To Fall As Maumoon Withdraws Support?

in News/Politics by

After over a six-month family feud, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom withdrew his support from his half-brother Abdulla Yameen-led government with immediate effect followed by Supreme Court verdict that upheld the High Court’s decision to make later the head of the party.

gayoom brothers powerplay (5)


The rift between the brothers that led to division of party into two factions escalated on Thursday during the fifth anniversary celebration of PPM when Maumoon was stopped by security forces from attending the event at the party’s office.

Three tweets followed by the incident within three hours apparently opened Pandora’s box of Maumoon’s resentment wherein he finally announced withdrawing his support from the ruling government.

The announcement was made following this tweet:

Later Thursday night, Head office of PPM under Maumoon’s faction was found chained allegedly by supporters of Yameen, however, police did not confirm who the culprit was, Sun Online reported.

Maumoon, meanwhile alleged that some of the properties of PPM was also stolen.

Earlier on Thursday, eight MPs from ruling party had joined Maumoon’s faction and said that they will work independently defying Yameen’s diktat in national interest.

It is yet to be ascertained if Yameen would be able to prove majority on the floor of People’s Majlis.

Maumoon Gayoom Fears Eviction From Party Leadership, Cancels Visit To Egypt

in Mas-Huni Brief by

The growing conflict between Gayoom brothers in PPM and widening rift between their supporters have forced party’s President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to cancel his trip to Egypt amid plans to unseat him from his post.

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  • Deputy Secretary-General of PPM, Abdul Aleem said that Maumoon had decided to cancel his trip to Egypt
  • The trip’s been cancelled due to an internal movement in violation of PPM’s Constitution and democratic values to unseat the leader
  • Maumoon has taken PPM’s office under his direct control
  • He has also appointed loyalist Umar Naseer to PPM’s council
  • Meanwhile, there were some efforts were put to reconcile the differences last week
  • Two rebellion party members who walked out of Gayoom’s meeting apologised to him
  • Though, Yameen loyalists have asked PPM members not to follow the PPM office’s directive on the upcoming Local Elections
  • They were asked to follow the directives of Chairman of PPM Elections Committee, Deputy Leader of PPM, Abdul Raheem Abdulla

Read full story on Sun Online

At INIA, Now Get Free WiFi And Duty Free Shop

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Of the six departure gates at the Ibrahim Naseer International Airport, three gates 1, 2 and 3 located on the ground floor will have a duty free shop and WiFi services at international arrival terminal, domestic terminal and the ground floor of the airport.

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  • The shop was inaugurated by Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), Adil Moosa
  • This is the first duty-free shop to be built on the ground floor – which previously only had a nice cream stall.
  • The departure gates would also be made larger once the airport’s new international terminal is built
  • More duty-free shops would be added after the airport is developed

Read full story at Sun Online

Efforts In PPM On To Bridge The Gap Between Gayoom Brothers

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Efforts with the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) is on to bridge the gap between Gayoom brothers- President Abdulla Yameen and former President and PPM President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom- amid the escalating political situation in the country.

gayoom yameen


  • PPM has decided to meet brothers to sort out the differences between them
  • Meanwhile, on Maumoon Gayoom’s demand two MPs communicated their official apology
  • MP Asma Rasheed and Baarah MP Ibrahim Sujau apologised for walking out of party’s council meeting in July
  • Asma and Sujau apologised to Maumoon via PPM’s official Viber group
  • Gayoom had threatened to hold council meeting only after the “rebels” apologised

The message sent by by both Asma and Sujau read:

I apologise to President Maumoon for any violation of PPM Constitution we may have partaken in

Read full story on Sun Online

STO Moves High Court Over Credit Dispute

in Mas-Huni Brief by

State Trading Organisation (STO) has moved to High Court over a credit dispute of MVR 19.3 million after losing the lawsuit in Civil Court against Meridium Service Private Limited.

sto


  • Meridium Service Private Limited is owned by Vilifushi MP Riyaz Rasheed
  • The first appeal hearing was held in High Court on Thursday
  • STO claims that Meridum owes the company 19.3 million in credit
  • STO claims Meridium took fuel on credit from STO between March 31, 2010 and December 1, 2010
  • Earlier, Civil Court had ruled that evidence presented did not prove STO’s claim
  • STO claimed evidence against Meridium went missing from its office

Read full story at Sun Online

Authorities Crackdown On Shops Overcharging For Staple Food

in Mas-Huni Brief by

A day after reports of shops overcharging for staple food as against the government regulated price floated, government started crackdown on the violators and said they would be fined or their license may also get revoked.

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  • Authorities have started checking shops after receiving complaints of overcharging
  • Shops overcharging would be fined, and even have their license revoked if they continue
  • Economic Ministry urged public to immediately report such issues
  • Even after cut in subsidies, some shops are selling a kilogram of rice costing MVR 7.96 being sold at MVR 10
  • Surge in prices of and flour is also being reported
  • The permitted price for the goods are higher in atolls than capital city

 

Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Adam Thaufeeq assuring action told Sun Online,

We are checking the places as they are reported. We will mete out strict punishments. We will ensure that the people receive the goods at a fair price

Read full story at Sun Online

Friend Saudi Doubles Scholarships To Maldives

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Saudi Arabia, which has become one of closest friends of the Maldives, has announced to increase the number of scholarships to the country to 300.

yameen-saudi-education


  • The announcement was made during President Abdulla Yameen’s visit to the country
  • President Yameen is currently in Saudi Arabia on a foreign visit
  • President and the Saudi Education Minister exchanged views on facilitating more education opportunities
  • Saudi has been providing 150 scholarships until now
  • They also spoke on establishing cooperation between the Islamic University of Maldives and the Saudi academia

Read full story at Sun Online

Some Stores Selling Staple Food Above Regulated Prices, Govt Assures Action

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Price rice has taken a hit in the Maldives as some of shops are selling staple food at higher prices as opposed to the government fixed cost.

rice


  • Even after cut in subsidies, a kilogram of rice costing MVR 7.96 is being sold at MVR 10
  • Surge in prices of sugar and flour is also being reported
  • The permitted price for the goods are higher in atolls than capital city Male
  • Economic Ministry has also received reports of overpricing and assured action against the violators

Read full story at Sun Online

Ex-Home Minister Naseer Hits Out At Prez Yameen For Price Hikes

in Mas-Huni Brief by

Former Home Minister Umar Naseer has hit out at government for cutting down subsidies on food and electricity leading to massive outrage among common people.

Umar Naseer


  • Umar said price hike is like double defeat to the people of Maldives
  • He said it does not matter who does it – Abdulla Yameen, Abdul Gayoom or Mohamed Nasheed – a bad thing would be a bad thing.
  • Sharply targeting Nasheed as well , he said that there is not much difference between the economic policies of the former and Yameen.
  • He reminded of the time under Nasheed when people outraged after the electricity prices were hiked then against the poll promises.

Read full story at Sun Online

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