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GMR project signed under dubious conditions: Maldives President

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Terming the controversial GMR airport project in Maldives as a "bad contract", President Mohammed Waheed today said it was signed "conceivably under dubious conditions" by his predecessor Mohammed Nasheed.

He also reacted strongly to India's concerns about developments in his country saying, "There is no reason to be concerned, since the country is fully functional and operational."

Speaking to PTI, the President said, "What is irresponsible is for Mr Nasheed to sign a contract against the wishes of the parliament. The demand to reclaim the airport is stemming from the fact that the agreement was not a responsible business agreement where both parties benefit.

"This agreement was signed during the previous government conceivably under dubious conditions. So it's not an issue with GMR, it's an issue of a bad contract."

He was responding to a question whether the demands of his coalition parties to reclaim the project were irresponsible as alleged by his predecessor Nasheed. Hassan also said that under the current agreement the government has to pay $1.5 million to GMR each month, which is "not affordable to the government of Maldives".

In 2010, Indian infrastructure major GMR had entered into a concession agreement with Maldivian government under the then President Nasheed to upgrade and manage Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) for a 25-year period.

The $500 million project ran into rough weather following country-wide protests by coalition of opposition political parties which had come to power after the controversial ouster of democratically elected Nasheed's government in February this year.

Story first published on: November 15, 2012 15:04 (IST)

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