With its eye on China, India on Thursday focused on the Maldives a five-pronged bundle including infrastructure worth $500 million, an immediate cargo ferry service, formation of an air travel bubble, continuous supply of essential commodities, and extra financial guide of $250 million to help the cash-strapped economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Our special friendship is, and will always remain, as deep as the waters of the Indian Ocean.”
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) August 14, 2020
These were among the key takeaways as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a point by point meeting with Maldives Unfamiliar Minister Abdulla Shahid.
Previous President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, who is as of now Speaker of Majlis (Maldives’ parliament), attacked China for their debt-trap discretion. “The super ease improvement assistance declared by @DrSJaishankar today is actually what the Maldives needs. Authentic assistance from a companion, to assist us with building basic infrastructure. As opposed to eye-wateringly expensive commercial loans that leave the nation buried in debt. @PMOIndia,” he tweeted
Thank you, President @ibusolih! India will continue to support the Maldives in mitigating the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our special friendship is, and will always remain, as deep as the waters of the Indian Ocean. https://t.co/nbKL19hw7P
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 13, 2020
alluding to Chinese loans to the previous Yameen government.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih considered it a “milestone second”, while Head administrator Narendra Modi said, “Our special friendship is, and will always stay, as profound as the waters of the Indian Ocean.”
A landmark moment in Maldives-India cooperation today as we receive Indian assistance of USD250 million as budget support and USD500 million for the Greater Malé Connectivity Project. I thank PM @narendramodi and the Indian people for their generosity and friendship.
— Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (@ibusolih) August 13, 2020
Responding to a request from the Maldives government, New Delhi chose to support the execution of Greater Malé Connectivity Task (GMCP) through a financial bundle consisting of an award of $100 million and a new credit extension of $400 million.
This will be the largest nonmilitary personnel infrastructure venture in the Maldives, interfacing Malé (the capital) with three neighboring islands — Villingili, Gulhifalhu (where a port is being worked under Indian credit extension) and Thilafushi (new industrial zone) – by the construction of a bridge-and-causeway link spanning 6.7 km.
“Once completed, this landmark project will streamline connectivity between the four islands, thereby boosting economic activity, generating employment and promoting holistic urban development in the Malé region,” a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said.