The Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) is in talks with the government to finalise an agreement to construct 22 harbours under a so-called contractor finance policy.
MTCC CEO Dr Ahmed Adham has told local media that the government has agreed to guarantee a loan of US$30 million required for undertaking the project, with the state then having a five year grace period to pay for the construction under the proposed policy.
“Despite the government guarantee, we will be repaying the loan. In addition we are currently engaged in discussions with our equipment partners to come to an agreement,” Adham was quoted as saying by newspaper Haveeru.
Reports over the new agreement come days after the government announced it would be delaying implementation of any new development projects financed out of the state budget due to shortfalls in its revenue.
The decision to suspend new projects was revealed earlier this week by Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muiz during the signing of contracts to build harbours in four islands.
Muiz said at the time that he was instructed by the finance ministry not to commence any further infrastructure projects included in the 2013 budget, such as harbour construction or land reclamation.
Speaking to Minivan News today, Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad said the reported agreement set to be signed between the government and MTCC was not related to the decision to delay starting any further development projects.
Jihad added that the harbour developments currently under discussion as part of the contractor finance policy had already been included within the state budget.
“It is just the mode of financing that is different,” he said today.
According to local media, the MTCC plans to sign the new harbour agreement with the government next week.
There have been “constraints” to obtain funds for projects already awarded by the government, however Adham Haveeru he was “confident the government will hold up its end in the new contracts and make the progressive payments.”
“We are presently carrying out projects under progressive payment policy. Government has assured us that it would make the payments without interruption.”
Currently the MTCC is conducting work on harbor projects for 17 government-assigned islands.