With the ouster of GMR Infrastructure from Maldives imminent, the Indian government has put on hold a Rs 250 crore bilateral aid it had promised to the atoll nation, CNBC TV18 reported, quoting sources.
An earlier report on the TV channel, however, quoted the Maldivian government as saying that it is yet to receive any intimation from the Indian government on the issue.
India's move is likely to be aimed at arm-twisting the Maldivian government to fall in line. However, the Maldivian government led by Preident Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik seems to be determined to take over the airport management control.
Earlier, another report on the TV channel said that the government authorities there are actively engaged in determining the contours of the compensation that is to be paid to GMR Infrastructure for cancelling its airport development contract.
The Maldivian government has also expressed confidence that the management of the airport will be taken over by Maldives Airport Company Ltd, CNBC TV18 reported.
Adding to the uncertainty over compensation to GMR, Maldives has also rubbished the figures floating around in the media as speculative.
"We have heard figures of $700 million, $550 million, $350 million and also $220 million," Masood Imad, press secretary to the Maldivian president, was quoted as saying an HBL report yesterday.
The CNBC TV18 report said the Maldivian authorities met GMR officials yesterday and have decided to retain all GMR staff, including Indians, after the takeover of the airport.
The CNBC TV18 report also said the present Maldivian government has serious concerns on how the project was awarded to GMR by the former Mohammed Nasheed government.
Airport development charge was a strong point behind move by the then Maldivian government, it said.