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India proposes MVR 550 million as free aid to Maldives

Fathmath Shaahunaz
02 February 2017, MVT 15:36
President Yameen (L) meets Indian PM Narendra Modi during an official visit to India in April 2016. FILE PHOTO/PPRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Fathmath Shaahunaz
02 February 2017, MVT 15:36

India has offered to grant over MVR 550 million to the Maldives as free aid this year.

The state budget submitted by the Indian government to Lok Sabha, the Lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament, on Wednesday proposes provision of free aid to six nations of South Asia in 2017. Accordingly, the budget allocates 2.45 billion Indian Rupees (MVR 557 million) as free aid to the Maldives.

The proposed amount is double the free aid provided by India to the archipelago the past two years, with 800 million Indian Rupees (MVR 182 million) given in 2016 and 550.40 million Indian Rupees (MVR 125 million) the year before.

The aid is usually provided for various objects managed by the Indian government in the Maldives. However, India’s Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley has not specified details of the free aid to the Maldives in this year’s budget.

The South Asian giant has continuously aided the Maldives in conducting numerous development projects across the archipelago. Currently, the project to renovate state run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) is close to an end while development of a Police Academy and the new building of the Maldivian Coast Guard are about to commence.

The State Budget 2017 of the Maldives passed by the parliament did not specify the total amount of free aid expected from the Indian government. However, it noted that India will provide MVR 55 million to develop the Police Academy in Hithadhoo ward of Addu City.

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