GMR Infrastructure, which is building Maldives’ largest airport, the Male International Airport, could face a funding shortage of $25 million annually, after reports emerged that a local political party – Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) – may file a case against the Bangalore-based company for collecting airport development charges (ADC), reports Indian newspaper The Economic Times.
GMR Infrastructure plans to charge $25 per passenger from the annual departing passenger count of one million, and wants to introduce a $2 insurance charge at the check-in counters starting January to offset the costs incurred in building the airport.
“The local opposition party is alleging that the ADC should be removed. However, GMR has mentioned that as per the terms of the airport agreement, it will be allowed. The company is looking to fund UD$25 million per annum for its capex plan of US$511 million,” said a person close to the development.
DQP vice-president Imad Solih has already submitted a separate civil case, questioning the legitimacy of the charge, and has requested the court to take action against the country’s finance ministry, according to a report by Haaveru Online, a local website.
“ADC at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Male, is a charge approved by the Government of Maldives and we will implement the same in due course of time. As of now, we have no official intimation of the same and thus, would not like to comment on speculative news,” a GMR spokesperson said.
GMR has raised debt of $358 million from Axis Bank, Singapore branch, the sole underwriter and mandated lead arranger for the entire debt facility. The debt has a door-todoor tenure of 12 years with ballooning repayments over seven years, commencing from June 2015.