Maldives pays a billion in settlements to private companies

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer responds to questions at the Parliament on October 8, 2019. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer says the Maldivian administration has paid approximately MVR 1 billion in settlements to private parties.

Minister Ameer was questioned regarding the tally of settlement payments made by the Maldivian administration by opposition lawmaker, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam at the Parliament this Tuesday.

In response, Ameer said that the huge settlement payments had been due to the “poorly made contracts by the previous administration.”

“Arbitration had been progress in Singapore and other countries due to the poorly enforced contracts. We have awarded several arbitrations,” said Ameer.

He said that sizable settlements awarded so far included MVR 280 million in the ruling by Singapore International Arbitration Centre in favor of Nexbis for the 2013 unlawful termination of the contract awarded to it to establish a border control system in Maldives in 2010, and MVR 130 to WLT.

He said the Maldivian administration had also awarded MVR 26.1 million in settlement over the dissolution of Maldives Road Development Corporation (MRDC).

“MRDC is in liquidation. We had to settle pending payments owed to MRDC’s contactors for work completed on projects contracted to MRDC by previous administrations,” said Ameer.

He said the Maldivian administration also had to pay a settlement of MVR 7.1 million in response to a Supreme Court ruling in July over a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against state-run Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital in G. Dh. Thinadhoo.

According to Ameer, additional settlements went into the settlement of MVR 15.2 million in loans taken by private citizens in the wake of the tsunami of 2004, and the settlement over the termination of contract with Noomadi Resorts and Residence for housing projects in the atolls – the value of which he did not disclose.

“The total is close to MVR 1 billion,” said Ameer.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih previously announced that his administration estimated the total settlements owed by the state to private parties to be over MVR 6.8 billion.