Auditor General, Hassan Ziyath, revealed on Wednesday that the internal audit produced by TMA failed to fully disclose the estimated profit from the new seaplane terminal deal.
Speaking at the parliamentary public finance committee, Ziyath stated that TMA's internal audit report did not include passenger carrier fees charged by the company, without which an accurate profit estimation cannot be determined.
Responding to questions at the committee meeting, the Auditor General stated that TMA’s report had declared income from lounge leases as their only source of revenue.
Citing the report's figure of USD 2.8 million as receivable income from lounges, Ziyath stated that this amount did not reflect the total projected revenue TMA will generate from the venture.
The Auditor General went on to state that attempts made by his office to inquire from resorts the passenger carrier rates charged by TMA had been unsuccessful, alleging that TMA had “instructed them [the resorts] to not share any information with our office”.
TMA, however, had denied the allegations at an earlier session of the committee.
Meanwhile, the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday launched a criminal investigation into the controversial seaplane terminal deal, on the grounds that handing over the seaplane terminal to TMA under current terms would cost the State an annual loss of USD 55 million.
The ACC explained that the current lease rate of USD 10.35 per square meter is well below the market rate at which other plots were leased at the international terminal.
Adding to the chorus of debate surrounding the controversial deal, Speaker of Parliament, President Mohamed Nasheed urged the Maldivian government and TMA to come to agreeable terms on the new seaplane terminal, highlighting the urgent need to speed up the opening of the second runway as per airport expansion plans.
The same concerns were also echoed by the Auditor General during Wednesday’s parliament meeting, warning that the delays would cost MACL a monthly loss of over USD 9 million.