GMR pays US$78 million upfront fee to government

Indian infrastructure giant GMR has paid the Maldives the US$78 million upfront fee to the government for the operation of Male’ International Airport, the finance ministry has stated.

GMR has leased the airport for 25 years in partnership with Malaysia Airport Holdings. As well as the upfront fee, the GMR-MAHD consortium will pay one percent of profits until 2014 and then 10 percent until 2035, and 15 percent of the fuel trade until 2014 and 27 percent thereafter.

The consortium has previously stated that it will invest almost US$400 in upgrading and expanding the existing airport.

The controversial deal has come under fire from a coalition of opposition parties, who have opposed the privatisation on nationalistic grounds and argue that the bidding process was not transparent.