Minister: Credit line of up to USD 1B discussed with India

Minister of Finance, Ibrahim Ameer (C) speaks during a press conference on December 3, 2018. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Minister of Finance of Maldives has announced the Maldivian government discussed a credit line of up to USD 1 billion, and possibly more, for State projects with the Indian government.

Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail held discussions with high-level Indian government officials during their visit to India last week.

Speaking during a press conference this Monday, Minister Ameer said the two governments discussed opening a credit line of USD 1 billion through Exim Bank of India to fund Maldivian government projects.

“It was discussed to arrange funds of up to, or over USD 1 billion through Exim Bank of India when we submit proposals for feasible and viable projects,” said Ameer.

“They said they could arrange funds at 1.5 percent interest rate.”

Ameer said he does not believe the credit line will mean an increase in the States debt by USD 1 billion.

“It’s not that our debt will raise an additional USD 1 billion. And it’s not that we are loaning USD 1 billion from India,” said Ameer.

Ameer said the two governments discussed funds for several projects, including establishing water and sanitation services in 72 islands, construction of three tertiary hospitals and transferring the Male’ Commercial Harbor to Thilafushi.

Indian news agencies had carried reports of an agreement for an USD 1 billion credit line by India in exchange for stronger military ties, including Indian military presence in Maldives.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives later issued a statement saying establishing an Indian military base in Maldives was not discussed. It made no comment on whether Indian military officers will be allowed to operate in Maldives or not.