Don't wish to involve political strife in GMR issue: President

Ahmed Hamdhoon, Haveeru Online
May 18, 2012 - 11:51
  • President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik speaking during the press conference held yesterday afternoon, to mark the first 100 days since his assumption of office at the President's Office yesterday afternoon. PHOTO/ NASRULLA SOLIH

President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has stressed that he did not wish to involve the present political strife in the Maldives in the divergences of opinion between the government and the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) operator GMR, India.

In response to a question by a journalist during the press conference held yesterday to mark 100 days since the assumption of office, President detailed that the matters involving foreign investors in the country would be dealt with strictly from a business perspective.

“I don’t believe that involving politics in such matters relating to trade would best benefit our future and the economy,” Waheed said.

President admitted that the issues with GMR were quite tense and the government was trying to resolve the matter in accordance with the agreement made between the two parties.

In addition, he revealed that a committee had been established to solve the current conflict with GMR through mutual dialogue.

The committee comprises of Finance Minister, Attorney General and Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) Chairman as representatives from the Maldivian side.

While GMR has omitted USD8.2 million from the concession fee payable to the government, President assured that all measures necessary would be employed to obtain the amount owed to the government.

President Waheed had said that the Maldives would respect every agreement made with India, and revealed that he had relayed the same to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his recent five day official visit to India.

GMR had deducted USD25 as airport development charge (ADC) and USD2 as insurance fee from every departing passenger from INIA from the total concession fees paid to the government for the past three months.

MACL had stated earlier that GMR was required to pay USD8,709,428.00 as concession fee including oil concession fee amounting to USD8,428,387.00, but that GMR has so far for the first three months of 2012 paid only USD525,355.00. 

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