Chambers rally around

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 21:51 hrs

Indian industry has unanimously expressed support for the GMR Group on its standoff with the government of Maldives on the Male airport.

“The decision by the Male government to take over the airport despite a stay order by a Singapore court comes as shocking and disappointing,” the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today. It urged the government to send a delegation to protect Indian investments in the island nation.

Earlier, Assocham and the Confederation of Indian Industry had also expressed concern. "India should activate their diplomatic relations to convince the Male government not to terminate the concession agreement which had been entered into by a transparent bidding process carried out by IFC, Washington," said Assocham.

It said the attitude of the Maldives government, despite the Singapore court rulings, would shake the confidence of investors and jeopardise the spirit behind cooperation among Saarc nations.

"It is extremely important for all the parties concerned to respect the sanctity of the concession agreement and abide by the provisions provided therein to resolve any dispute within the stipulated legal framework," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.

India has expressed displeasure at the Maldives’ decision and underlined the scrapping of the biggest single item of foreign direct investment from here would negatively impact bilateral trade ties and the larger relationship. And, that legal ways should be found to resolve the stalemate.

After the Maldives terminated the project under domestic political pressure, GMR had moved the Singapore high court against the decision. On Monday, the court had stayed the unilateral termination of the $500-million airport project. By the contract, in case of differences between the parties, the law of either Singapore or the UK would apply.

More from Sify: