India has provided a standby loan of US$20 million to the Maldives as the country descends into political turmoil, reports the Economic Times.
Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives, D M Mulay, told the paper that the Indian government had expedited the delivery of the loan, which had been given to the Maldives government several days ago.
US$50 million in Maldives’ treasury bonds held by the State Bank of India “has also been rolled over for another year”, Mulay told reporters.
President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s Political Advisor, Dr Hassan Saeed, in a recent leaked audio clip, expressed concern about the involvement of “a lot of foreign partners” and “huge bilateral pressures”, in particular a US$50 million owed by the Maldives to an unspecified lender: “Fifty million dollars has to be raised before the end of this month or there will be a sovereign default,” he said, in the recording earlier this week.
The same paper recently reported that SBI had issued a moratorium on loans in the Maldives until June.
Indian Foreign Secretary Shri Ranjan Mathai visited the Maldives on Monday to push ahead peace talks between parties in the Maldives.
Mathai was a key proponent of a ‘roadmap’ document proposing early presidential elections, with necessary amendments to the constitution and laws to be completed within a month’s time.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has been pushing for an early election date, maintaining that Dr Waheed’s government is illegitimate, while the new government has insisted that “conditions have to be right”.