New Delhi, India – Indian media sources have reported that the Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is expected to visit Maldives on November 10.
Sources had revealed that this would be his third country to visit after Bangladesh and Myanmar amid the Covid-19 pandemic but had not mentioned any further details of this trip by the Foreign Secretary. His visit to Maldives comes after the agreement to fund the Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP) was signed earlier this week between the two countries through which India will loan USD 400 million and give an additional USD 100 million as a grant for the project.
In addition to this USD 800 million Line of Credit was also extended to Maldives which include various infrastructural projects throughout the Maldives. India also gave a USD 250 Million budgetary assistance last month through a soft loan which was 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.
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.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla who took office in January 29 of this year is the 33rd Foreign Secretary of India. He previously served as the Ambassador of India to the United States of America, High Commissioner to Bangladesh and Ambassador to Thailand.