In a blow for the Bangalore-based GMR Group, a Singapore court has ruled that the Maldives Government has the authority to take back the Male International Airport which was being modernised by a joint venture led by the Indian company.

Confirming the development, Masood Iman, Press Secretary to the Maldives President, told the Hindu Business Line that the Singapore court was of the opinion that the contract allowed Maldives Airports Company Ltd to take back the airport from the GMR-led joint venture consortium.

“We will pay compensation to GMR. This will be decided by a court in Singapore. We have heard figures of $700 million, $550 million, $350 million and also $220 million. Let the Singapore court decide and we will abide by the judgment. The modernisation of Male airport will now be taken up MACL. The Maldives Government will again float the tender and get more parties in to take the work forward. The tender will be floated by the Maldives Government in a transparent manner and after consulting investors. The mistakes made during the float of the tender which has been cancelled will not be repeated,” Masood told the Hindu Business Line over phone from Male.

Meanwhile, senior GMR officials are in Male and scheduled to meet with the Maldives Defence Minister who is also the acting Transport Minister later this evening.

On December 1, the Maldives Cabinet annulled the contract awarded to GMR-led consortium to modernise the Male airport. GMR has till December 7 to vacate the airport.

(This article was published on December 6, 2012)
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