India is always there when Maldives needs a friend: President Solih

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred with the Order of the Distinguished Rule of Izzuddin by Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on June 8, 2019 | Photo: President's Office

Male’, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that India is always there when Maldives is in need of a friend, in a tweet which he posted late last night thanking the Indian government for the USD250 Million budgetary assistance through a soft loan.

This financial assistance from India came amid the financial implications caused on the Maldivian government due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has crippled the tourism sector of the country. This financial assistance was initially announced during a video conference call between Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and the Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on 13th August.

The soft loan by the Indian government has been arranged through the Maldivian governments Domestic Treasury Bond sold to State Bank of India and it has to be paid back within 10 years with an interest rate of 3.5 percent.

After the current government took office, Indian support through various projects has been seen all around the Maldives and specially during the pandemic. India has also announced a USD500 million package for the Male’-Thilafushi bridge which is in it’s preliminary stage right now. In addition to this, seven projects through Indian credit lines are to commence as well.

During the pandemic, India has been continuously assisting the Maldivian government in providing necessary food and medicine supplies and has promised to maintain a steady flow of basic necessities. Indian government also sent a team of doctors in March of this year to assist in the Covid-19 preparedness followed by 11.7 tonnes of medicines in April and May.