President Abdulla Yameen has said that the compensation proposed by GMR for an out-of-court settlement is too big and the government does not believe that it has to be paid.
“GMR is seeking a very big compensation. We, the government, do not believe that we can pay such an amount, or that it is necessary to pay it. So now we are facing [the issue of] unmatching numbers,” Yameen was quoted as saying in local media.
Yameen suggested that the large compensation being sought is the reason the parties have failed to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Both sides are now awaiting the conclusion of the arbitration, revealed Yameen, and further discussions will continue afterwards if it is necessary. He did not reveal the amount proposed for an early settlement.
Proceedings of the arbitration case, in which GMR is seeking US$1.4 billion as compensation for the abrupt termination of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) contract, has already begun in Singapore.
Last week the government appointed sitting Supreme Court Judge Abdulla Saeed as a legal expert in the arbitration case, with the Saeed promptly travelling to Singapore.
According to the Judges Act, however, any judge leaving the country to take part in a judiciary or law-related event should first obtain special permission from the independent Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Judicial Service Commission (JSC) member Sheikh Shuaib Abdurahman – one of the two members legally required to give consent for such a trip – has said said he was unaware of Judge Abdulla Saeed’s departure, though the Attorney General’s office has told local media that all necessary permissions were acquired.
The Maldives’ legal team includes Attorney General (AG) Mohamed Anil, Deputy AG Ahmed Usham, and a team of experts from Singapore and the UK.
Haveeru has reported that GMR hired former Sri Lankan Attorney General Mohamed Shibly Aziz, former Maldivian Deputy Solicitor General Ibrahim Riffath, and Maldivian lawyer Fayaz Ismail to assist them in matters related to the Maldivian legal system.
The AG’s Office is now looking into Riffath’s involvement in the case, stating that he could have accessed privileged information when working at the office during the cancellation of the GMR agreement and several other GMR related cases before that.
The office has noted that information obtained through holding such a position cannot be utilised in such circumstances.
The AG’s Office earlier stated that the Maldives would be represented by Singapore National University Professor M. Sonaraja, while former Chief Justice of the UK Lord Nicholas Addison Phillips were to represent GMR.
The arbitrator – mutually agreed upon by both GMR and the Government of Maldives – is retired senior UK Judge Lord Leonard Hubert Hoffman.
Legal experts are expected to present their opinions to the arbitration panel today, local media has reported, while the process is expected to continue until Wednesday.
Airport development plans
The government owned Maldives Airports Company Limited which took over the airport’s management from GMR after the cancellation of the agreement, is now planning further development.
A US$5 million work project to develop ground handling at INIA was announced in January, with more plans to be announced in the near future based on a revised version of the previously compiled Scott Wilson airport development master plan.
Since assuming office President Yameen has made repeated assurances that the country is safe for foreign investors, calling for new developers from the Arab-Muslim countries in particular.
“The thrust of the government is to welcome foreign investment, and to assure all investors that your investment – your money – is safe with us, and your stay here in Maldives is going to be conducive for you”, Yameen said earlier this month at a housing project inauguration in Hulhumalé.
The president yesterday shared the government’s INIA development plans with a delegation of Singapore’s Changi Airport Group and Changi Airport International in a meeting at the President’s Office, although a subsequent press release did not specify the exact reasons for the visit.
President Yameen will also travel to Singapore later this month to inaugurate the Maldives Investment Forum, a government initiative to showcase ‘high level’ investment opportunities in the country.
During the forum, the government’s development plans and projects will be revealed to international corporate and individual investors. One of the key five projects being scheduled for presentation is the the development of INIA.
Earlier this month Maldives Tourism Development Corporation Plc – 45 percent of whose shares are held by the government – sold Herethera Island Resort in Addu City for US$33 million to Singapore’s Canaries Private Ltd.
13 thoughts on “Amount proposed by GMR for out-of-court settlement too big, says president”
One wayto fiance would be to deduct the GMR compensation money from the Government contribution to MDP till everything is paid..
Do not pass debt to Non-MDP Maldivains..
"OOhhhh! It's... its too big! We c-cant fit this in... our budget!!" - Yaantey, facing the grim reality of his actions.
Congrats to PPM regime for slapping generations upon generations of Maldivians with a massive debt - and we're going to make YOU people pay for it.
Any and every payment as compensation and the cost of arbitration should be paid by those that advocated and terminated the contract, from their personal assets, including Abdulla Yameen. These costs should not be passed onto all Maldivians as the decision to terminate the contract with GMR/Malaysian Airports was not endorsed by a public referendum nor through the Parliament.
The best is yet to come. GMR will arrest all Maldivian aircraft in any airport, and likely to arrest their tanker in Dubai shortly. The vessel is currently running without proper certifications.
Actually GMR's payment fee's should be billed to MDP Govt's Economic Minister Mahmood Raazee, and MDP govt's finance minister Mohamed Shihab who signed the damn deal with GMR in the first place and brought this whole mess to the Maldives.
Why should ordinary maldivians have to pay for the stupidity of MDP in bringing the woe of GMR to Maldives ?
When the final amount is decided, I'll be sure to expropriate funds from PPM pigs. 🙂
Every single cent that has to be paid should be taken from Nasheed and his Gangs who had taken the money from GMR.
GMR should understand that illegally obtaining this contract and buying entire MDP and Nasheed does not mean that the entire Maldivian community will like GMR ASS.
GMR is one of the most corrupt company in India and even Indian supreme has got a legal case against GMR . Depending on who is winning the upcoming lecetion in India, GMR case will move faster .
GMR had spent millions of dollars to bring Nasheed back in the election ? Why did they spent so much money if this deal was a genuine deal ?
Why did Nasheed resolved the board and appointed new board and then got the contract signed less than 24hrs of the new appointment .
Does this tell something fishy ?
No matter what both sides say the matter will be decided by courts in Singapore,and the maldives government of any time cannot escape it legal and moral responsibility to compensate for unilaterally terminating a legal agreement
Also as seen in the apple versus Samsung agreement gmr could also take any future investor in inia to courts,and block any development in inia until it claims are settled legally or ofcourt
"The president yesterday shared the government’s INIA development plans with a delegation of Singapore’s Changi Airport Group and Changi Airport International in a meeting at the President’s Office, although a subsequent press release did not specify the exact reasons for the visit."
But I thought the whole Gayoom/Waheed/PPM argument against GMR was to keep the development of the airport for a Maldivian owned company? Of course only the "Heros" of the world believed such a load of poo! The reason the GMR deal was "illegal" was because Gayoom and company didn't get a cut for the first time after 30 years of sucking this country dry. But the best way to get support for a cause is to use the "national pride" card for the sheep to get behind.
And all these PPM cry babies claiming corruption in the GMR deal. There's never been a business deal made in this country that didn't involve corruption, extortion and bribery. It's just the people who get left out of the spoils that claim to suddenly have ideals about honesty and the rule of law. Bottom line, Gayoom and company never wanted to give up power. The GMR deal was a just an excuse to get the uneducated, brainwashed sheep to support his return to power.
Well played PPM! The airport will still be developed by a foreign company and Gayoom will get his "fair share". Things are finally getting back to normal here.
When terminating the contract the Government stated that it was an invalid contract and no compensation was due to GMR/MA. Now it appears they were wrong and probably a huge payout is imminent. All Maldivians are nt not responsible for such incompetence.
@Hero: What's the matter? Just hand over your wallet and walk away. I promise not to shoot your when your back is turned.
You guys evicted GMR illegally. Now be responsible for your own crimes or else we'll never get foreign investors.
PS: GMR isn't exactly an Indian company, you uneducated lout. Get an education instead of wasting your parents money on heroin.
At the end of the day the government voted in the contract and then the next government terminated it -- which means that you current new wonderful government have just hit the Maldives with a massive debt did they think it would vanish like most of the money meant for Maldivians.... Karma is a bitch!
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