India announces to fund Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP)
New Delhi: In its bid to extend helping hands to neighbours, the Indian government on Thursday announced its decision to support the implementation of Greater Malé Connectivity Project in Maldives, through a financial package consisting of a grant of USD 100 million and a new Line of Credit of USD 400 million.
"EAM noted that this will be the largest civilian infrastructure project in Maldives, connecting Malé (the capital of Maldives) with three neighbouring islands - Villingili, Gulhifahu (where a port is being built under Indian LoC) and Thilafushi (new industrial zone) – by construction of a bridge-and-causeway link spanning 6.7 kms," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Once completed, this landmark project will streamline connectivity between the four islands, thereby boosting economic activity, generating employment and promoting holistic urban development in the Malé region.
Fulfilling India’s commitment under the bilateral Trade Agreement of 1981, EAM conveyed the decision to renew quotas for supply of essential commodities to Maldives for the year 2020-21.
The commodities include food items like potatoes, onions, rice, wheat, flour, sugar, dal and eggs as well as river sand and stone aggregates.
The quotas assure food security, and the supply of essential construction items, and thereby provide certainty and price stability for such essential items in the Maldives.
During COVID-19 pandemic, when supply chains got disrupted, India continued to support the supply of essential food and construction materials to Maldives.
In May 2020, India had also gifted 580 tons of essential food items through Mission SAGAR.
External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S. Jaishankar (EAM) and the Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid held a meeting through video conference on Thursday.
S Jaishankar expressed happiness that India and Maldives worked very closely in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and that Maldives is the largest beneficiary of Indian COVID-19-related assistance among neighbouring countries.