Highlights

On 9 Nov 2020, Two South Asian and Ocean countries, India & Maldives signed four agreements. Through first agreement India provide $100 million grant for a connectivity project.

Harsh Vardhan Shringla Indian Foreign secretary and the Maldivian leadership by Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed discussed on areas and way in order to boost economic recovery that has been widely affected amid the pandemic.

Points To Note

Both countries signed 4 MoU are:

  1. First Memorandums of Understanding include India provide $100 million grant for the $500-million Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP). The Greater Male Connectivity Project project will link Maldives capital Male with other 3 islands. India will also be providing a $400-million line of credit (LoC) for this project. The project is the largest such infrastructure venture undertaken in the Maldives.
  2. Under Second Agreement, India agreed to set up soil and plant testing laboratories.
  3. A Third MoU was signed for establishing a drug detox facility.
  4. The Last Fourth Agreement both countries include a cooperation in sports and youth affairs.

Backdrop

The signed four Memorandums of Understanding makes the part of India’s commitment to provide a 5-pronged package that include sea, air, intra-island and telecommunications to help the country deal with the economic impact of the CORONAVIRUS pandemic. The 5 packages are-

  1. Financial Aid: India would also provide a financial aid of $250 million (1854 Crore Rupees) to Maldives in addition.
  2. Greater Male Connectivity Project: This is a financial package that consists of a grant of $100 million along with the new line of credit (LoC)of $400 million. This is the largest civilian infrastructure project in Maldives that connects Male and the 3 neighboring islands. The Three Maldives neighboring islands are Villingili (only resort island of Addu Atoll), Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi artificial island by constructing a bridge and a causeway link.
  3. Direct Cargo Ferry Service: The Direct Cargo ferry service would run between India & Maldives. The ferry service will enhance the sea connectivity and also provide predictability in supplies for importers of Maldives and exporters of India.
  4. Air Travel Bubble Between the countries: India – Maldives air travel bubble was started to facilitate the movement of people for employment, tourism and medical emergencies. Maldives became the first neighboring and ocean country which an air bubble service was operationalized.
  5. Quotas for Supply of Essential Commodities: The quotas for the supply of essential commodities was extended for more one year 2020-21. These essential commodities include river sand, food items and stone aggregates so as to assure food security and supply of essential construction items.

India and Maldives sign 4 agreements India and Maldives sign 4 agreements