Company calls move unilateral

Maldives announced on Tuesday that its Cabinet has recommended termination of a contract given by the previous regime to GMR Group for developing Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) at Male.

The decision to terminate the contract was taken by the Maldives Cabinet after which a notice was issued to the GMR Group, Masood Imad, press secretary to Maldivian President Mohd. Waheed Hassan Manik disclosed in a statement, a PTI report said.

The GMR Group described the move as unilateral, completely irrational and taken under the pretext that the agreement was “void”.

The $500 mn. project, which the GMR Group won when Mohammed Nasheed was the President has been hanging in balance ever since the regime change.

The GMR Group won the contract for 25 years through competitive global bidding process initiated by the previous regime. According to reports, the Cabinet took the decision in the face of increasing pressure from pro-government political parties for annulling the agreement signed on June 28, 2010.

The agreement turned controversial after the GMR Group decided to levy $ 27 towards Airport Development Charge (ADC) and insurance charge, a move that was struck down by the Civil Court. GMR said, in its statement, that the “unlawful and premature” notice was devoid of any locus standi and it was challenging the decision before competent forums. The company had taken all measures to ensure safety of the employees and safeguard its assets as it was confident that its stand would be vindicated in every way.