Opposition calls for no-confidence motion against Economic Minister over ADC

The opposition has announced it will forward a no-confidence motion against Minister of Economic Development, Mahmoud Razee, for handing the airport to Indian infrastructure giant GMR.

The Civil Court last week ruled against GMR in a case filed by the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), challenging its right to collect a US$25 (Rf385.5) Airport Development Charge (ADC) and US$2 (Rf30.8) Insurance Charge from January 2012.

The DQP had claimed that a pre-existing Airport Service Charge (ASC) of US$18 (Rf277.56) invalidates the ADC, which was specified in the concession agreement signed with the government last year.

GMR shares on the Mumbai stock exchange fell 7.57 percent on the day of Civil Court ruling, which could potentially leave GMR facing an annual US$25 million shortfall, India’s Economic Times reported.

“GMR has been permitted to collect ADC and Insurance charge under the Concession Agreement signed between GMR-MAHB, Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) and The Republic of Maldives (acting by and through its Ministry of Finance and Treasury), and as such has set up processes for ADC collection from 1st January 2012 supported by an information campaign to ensure adequate awareness,” the company said in a statement following media reports of the ruling.

Villufushi MP Riyaz Rasheed alleged today challenged the legally of Razee’s signing of the document, claiming that it allowed GMR to “unlawfully tax” passengers, and claimed he was responsible.

Haveeru reported that the opposition parliamentary group allied against Razee included MPs from the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and several independent MPs.

Razee said he was “waiting for the  awaiting the motion to be duly processed.”

“There’s nothing wrong or illegal about [the contract]. It’s up to the MPs to deliberate and decide what is to be done,” he said. “If there was anything illegal, then MPs should have had a look at it when it went through the Majlis. There were some issues that were sent to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which looked into it and things moved forward.”

Following the civil court ruling last week, President Mohamed Nasheed’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said he believed the government was obligated to appeal the ruling in the High Court. However neither Zuhair nor the Attorney General were responding to calls at time of press.


17 thoughts on “Opposition calls for no-confidence motion against Economic Minister over ADC”

  1. GMR issue is one of the main issues why I will not vote for Anni in 2013. This is an unfair deal which gives huge advantages to GMR. They are planning to do everything from ground handling to retail shops to handling tourists for resorts. In the future tourists will not be coming to Male' and the souvenir shop businesses in male will go bankrupt. They could try bribing politicians but we will not forget this. Money is not everything. The people of Maldives will kick these crooks out.

    There is considerable evidence that some people within the government has got a cut out of this deal.

  2. The GMR's handling of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in connection with the businesses and local workers at the airport is not in the best interest of the people of the Maldives. The GMR says when they bid for the airport it was not for the tarmac alone. Their approach to business is dangerous. If they are allowed to continue doing what they want it will be the beginning of a Vora era in the Maldive again. We had a bitter experience of the Vora business in the Maldives. We don't want it again.

  3. Dear Razee,

    Your policy decisions as head of privatization committee is starting to form a potentially lethal pattern and a concerning reliance on IFC.

    All bids are observed, technically assisted or evaluated with the help of International Finance Corporation (IFC).

    don't misunderstand, IFC is great - they pull all the stops, do all the research, hire a bunch of techy's, come up with a very comprehensive evaluation process, so on so forth etc. and etc.

    to a layman and to the ordinary folks like those in Anti Corruption Commission, IFC's involved in a tender may put a veil of legitimacy, fairness and objectivity.

    but the fact remains, the IFC involved in all the maldivian bids are not the "international" IFC that the name portrays.

    the IFC that has helped us so far are the people from IFC head office in India and they are all Indian consultants, lawyers and technical people. They might as well be called Indian Finance Corporation.

    and they actively promote indian businesses and tailor make bidding processes in favor of indian parties. how else can you explain why two indian parties have won the two critical bids in greater male' region in which IFC was involved in:

    (1) Airport to GMR
    (2) Waste Management project to UPL , another 100% indian company.

    And in both tenders, the terms were extremely favorable to the concessionaire and the Maldivian government had the bad set of cards on the table. This fact that we did not have the upper hand is showing in GMR case, it will soon show in the waste management case too.

    We very happily crucify Reeko Moosa for undue influence for profit but very casually forget about GMR and these other tenders!

    an undue advantage given through a legitimate bidding process is still an undue advantage even though all the paper work is spotlessly signed and agreed.

    The buck doesn't stop their with IFC as well. at the end of each bidding process, IFC collects a hefty commission/success fee from the winning bidder as well as payment for all their technical consultants by the government.

    And very soon, the port of male' will be put up on tender and if IFC is involved, no doubt it will go to another indian operator.

    I am surprised why this wonderfully talented and intellectual individual we call Raazee could not see this pattern emerging in our privatization process. Another win by an indian party would virtually seal the fate of this government in 2013 and the label it will create "Maldives sold to indians" will be like honey to bees at PPM, DQP and all others.

    If Raazee cannot sort this matter out at Privatization committee, i do hope there is more intellect hidden somewhere in Raazee's mustache or even perhaps in that bow tie.

  4. Mr. Razee is good in wearing a bow tie. But GMR is the most bizzare one sided deal by all measures.

    Apparently GMR does not even have to build a second runway - so the air port remains as it is apart from cosmetic changes.

  5. Bizarre, we don't need a second run way. London Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world and have 5 terminals and all run at 98%. They have 2 run ways.

    If the airport is not built properly first time round, we will never get the great chance again. GMR have to deliver now, I think they will.

  6. despite the poor deal, its surprising that Maldivians think Mr. Razee did a good job. In truth Razee has done the dumbest thing ever in Maldives history. He had sold an assets in such a naieve way without considering so many third party rights and citizens rights attached to it. may he thought he was selling a simple bottle of perfume. no mr. RAZEE. . you don't have any idea of complexity of the stuff you deal with. better to resign and apologoise

  7. I thought the contract was signed by MACL and GMR. I do not understand why it is on Razee's head!

  8. @ Maldiviangist

    Liked your comment.
    My guess is its not that Razee could not see what you have pointed out. Its just that Razee, like many others in this government, is either a puppet or a part of those who receive a profit out of it.

    These deals by Indian companies are worrying and even detrimental to our soverignity. But just to fill the pockets of a few, our country is being sold out by these crooks.

    The government don't have to give another project to another Indian company for people to say MDP has sold this country to the Indians. A lot of foreign dollars that could potentially be earned by Maldivians are already shipped out. I hate MDP for this. They are nothing but sincere and they do not want to develop the country or do anything good for the people. They are just abusing power and getting everything they can grab from our country.

    At this rate, in another 10 years or so, we will be annexed as a state of India. There will be no independent country we can call Maldives. This is perhaps Anni's 'Bodu Manzaru.'

  9. @Mohamed Rasheed
    You have hit a raw nerve.
    Yes the agreement was signed between macl and gmr. But macl board members was never part of the negotiation. Privatization committee headed by raazee and his deputy lawyer Shahdy Anwar evaluated the entire bid and sent the papers to be signed by macl.

    If you remember This exactly why members of the board refused and some resigned and a new board was put in place with Kuda Bandhey as the new chair.

    In theory pc is an advisory board to the president on policy but in reality they do more executive work than they should and hence end up in tangled situations like this one.

  10. @Mohamed Rasheed, how quickly you have forgorten who Razee was then. Master of the 4 hats. Minister for Transport, Governing Body for MACL. Chairman for Privatization commitee. Acting Minister for Trade, Governing body for foreign Invest n Registra of companies. MACL Chairman. Razee is responsible and should be accountable in every respect on this deal.

  11. @Radhun - you made a good points. Hope some lessons are learned.

    No human can master 4 hats. And no human should think she can do everything from A-Z.

  12. Ah this I like.

    An uprising of the middle-class with backing from the public.

    Now this is what I call a revolution.

    The whole clan fight between the House of Kaaminee and the House of Kerafaa is just too personal and meanders when it comes to popular matters.

    This is a true Maldivian uprising. A call for national unity. Down with the yes-men. Let's take back this nation people.

  13. Razee is a capable guy; an intellectual and someone who works for a better future for this country. However, as far as the GMR deal is concerned Razee has been out bowled by the GMR accountants.

    I used to believe that this was a good deal for us, but as events have unfolded it has become quite clear that this is a totally one-sided deal in favour of GMR.

    I also find a bit ridiculous that people like Razee would willingly allow a $25 tax from every single passenger using the airport. This amounts to an easy $50 million annually in GMR's coffers, and they don't have to lift a finger to get that. Calculate the present value of that over 25 years and you can see why GMR are so keen on this project!

    That $50 million dollar is just for starters. Now, we know that they plan to own the entire retail operation at the airport as well. That will bring in further 10s of millions of dollars into their pocket annually. Sheesh!

    Yes, Razee's head is on the line. Time for the chop!

  14. Chop razee's head and who do we have to put in as his replacement?

    In a small country like Maldives more than half of the people who has been at the top of executive branch is now on the other side of the fence. MDP had to pick people from the under growth of civil service. For e.g. No body seems to be concerned knowing we have inaz a guy in his mid 30s as finance minister. He's no prodigy and he's clearly going to make mistakes during a time when the economy is going haywire.

    I don't think we should sack razee. Let him be but he should learn the lesson next round and do whatever possible to correct his failings with gmr.

  15. @Ahmed Deeds. Your comment should be read in a comedy show.

    What you are saying is Razee should be kept in the job to train himself (heshould learn the lesson next round). Is Razee the new Maumoon.

    And young people in their 30s are not good even for training on the job. Only people making mega blunders should be kept, so that they can correct their mistakes in the 'next round'

    Man, do you think Maldives is a joke.

  16. @worse and worse
    heard of a principle called The lesser of two evils...its political science my friend..


Comments are closed.