The Maldives government has this week repaid a US$50m loan originally supplied by India to the previous administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed, local media has reported.
Citing senior government officials, local newspaper Haveeru reported that the repayment has been made Tuesday (December 4) after the Indian government said it would not be extending the repayment period for the funds.
India late last month requested that the Maldives government make US$50 million in treasury bond (T-bond) payments to India by December, with a second equal payment scheduled to be made in February 2013.
The Maldives government was in recent weeks been drawn into a diplomatic row with its Indian counterparts over a decision to dismiss an injunction granted to India-based infrastructure group GMR by the High Court of Singapore over the managing Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) in Male’.
Authorities in the country have opted to void the contract signed by GMR and the previous government, whilst vowing that the airport will be run by the state-owned Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) by Friday (December 7) even with the injunction issued by the Singaporean courts.
Indian media has meanwhile claimed that the Indian government is considering freezing aid to the economically-crippled archipelago, notably a US$25 million loan necessary for the payment of civil servant salaries and the construction of a police academy.
“We are not happy with the way Maldives cancelled the GMR airport deal. This has surely left an impact on our bilateral ties,” a foreign ministry official told AFP. “A decision whether the money should be given or not will be taken soon.”
However the Indian High Commission n Male’ has previously stressed to local media that the suggestion of cutting aid was “unofficial”, adding that such a decision would not be “unilateral”.