Waheed opposes GMR’s concession fee deduction, seeking a “solution”

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has said that the government is seeking a “solution” to the deduction of US$8.1 million from concession fees paid by GMR, the Indian infrastructure giant which has been developing and operating Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) since it was awarded the concession by former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration in November 2010.

The government received only US$525,355 out of an expected US$8.7 million in concession fees for the first quarter of 2012, after GMR deducted the Airport Development Charge (ADC) chargeable under its contract but which was thrown out after a Civil Court case on the matter was filed by the opposition during Nasheed’s tenure.

The ADC was intended to be a US$25 fee charged to outgoing passengers from January this year, as stipulated in the contract signed with GMR in 2010. The Civil Court blocked the fee on the grounds that it was essentially the same as a pre-existing Airport Services Charge (ASC), and that any new fees would constitute a new tax and was subsequently required to go through the People’s Majlis.

The case was filed by then-opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) – which had opposed the handing of the airport to GMR.

“I do not believe [the ADC] can be charged in the current situation because of the court’s decision,” Dr Waheed stated while speaking to the media at the inauguration of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Asia-Pacific Conference held today in the Kurumba Maldives Resort.

According to the President, GMR can only take the Airport Development Charge following the “completion of all necessary legal procedures”.

“We are now having discussions with GMR. The government has now formed a team. As they are proceeding with the discussions, I believe a solution will be found without further delay,” President Waheed noted.

“Some of the things related to [the ADC] must be coordinated with the parliament. Therefore, when parliament convenes after the recess, we will submit the matter. So the work will proceed with parliament’s decision,” he said.

Parliament is now in recess until early June.

Managing Director of the Airports Company Mohamed Ibrahim was recently quoted in the local media as saying that the current administration does not support the decision of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government to allow GMR to deduct the ADC from the concession fees.

GMR has been asked to reimburse the deducted amount, Ibrahim said.

GMR has not commented recently on the subject, however it noted following the civil court ruling that the payment of a development fee was “a common concept in many airports globally”.

“The reason for the inclusion of ADC in many global concession agreements is to address the funding needs to meet the investment model required to upgrade and develop new airport facilities at significant costs,” GMR stated.

The company further stated that the charge was included in the concession fee proposed between GMR and the government in 2010.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for INIA’s new terminal on December 19, then-President Nasheed said he wished to assure GMR that the government was “200 percent behind your contract, and every single other contract the government has signed with any other foreign party in this country. Not just contracts signed by our government, but also contracts that any ruler of the Maldives has signed with any party. We will honour it.”


9 thoughts on “Waheed opposes GMR’s concession fee deduction, seeking a “solution””

  1. GMR deal is the most corrupt deal ever in Maldives history. It is a deal that directly profited MDP and its cronies. Ganjaaa Thakur government signed the concession contract despite the ruling from the courts. Maldives Government do not have to accept the deduction of ADC charges by GMR. Anni sold all our treasured assets in such a way that profited him and his goons. He bankrupt Maldives and resigned since he does not know how to run the government without any more assets to be sold.

  2. We need leaders like Waheed in this country... Well done Waheed... We are with you.

  3. Good for GMR. This regime did everything possible to block the new airport when in opposition but now they want all the money and benefits ????
    Waheed is not only a TRAITOR but a HYPOCRITE too!

  4. Wait a minute, I thought this new regime wanted to stop the new airport? Remember?

    The people commenting here are two faced corrupt and evil = the new government. LIARS.

  5. Even if the new government wants to kick out GMR, they cant just do it in a day. Its not easy as that. Plus it may scare off other foreign investors. So we need to revise the agreement made with GMR and make it mutually beneficial to both government and GMR. Now its too one sided and everybody know that. Hope swift action will be taken on this

  6. Waheed and his allies' myopic stupidity in opposition comes back to bite them when in government.

    There is a wonderful irony to this. Where will you get your police bribe-money now, Waheed?

  7. This regime wanted nothing other than bring in a puppet like this Waheed who has waited all his life for a single moment.

    To give a "Presidential Address" to the nation as President of Maldives (even as a rebel, and amidst protests on the floor of the parliament in commotion, honourable speaker, members hollering, armed forces using using excessive power to control the honourable members of parliament who were demanding the speaker to throw out the phoney and rebel president out of their floor)!

    If "Magoo", the cartoon character (who never wanted to wash his face after the Princess kissed it) is strong enough never to wash it, then this character 'Magoo Waheed" who had been waiting all his life to address the "Majlis" as we saw over the live coverage - well, he is strong then!

  8. Wheres doc. Imran. Hi Khaleefa .. this is us against the bloody Hindhus. Lets Jihaadh.


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