“We are happy to see several projects taking off, getting delivered on the ground and benefiting people and community,” V Muraleedharan
Continuing with its developmental assistance programme, India signed 10 MoUs with Maldives on Sunday for the implementation of high impact projects in 11Atolls in the archipelagic country.

Signed during the maiden visit of Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan to Maldives, these MoUs will facilitate implementation of development projects in areas of arts, sports, education, and health.

Speaking on the occasion, Muraleedharan said India and Maldives have been able to develop a deep and close cooperation at all levels including political, administrative, entrepreneurial and people to people ties apart from our strong development partnership.

A batch of Tuberculosis medicines were also handed over to the Maldivian officials on this occasion.

Highlighting India’s development partnership with Maldives, he said, “Our comprehensive development partnership covers grants, concessional credit, budgetary support, capacity building and training assistance. We are happy to see several projects taking off, getting delivered on the ground and benefiting people and the community. Many of these projects were inaugurated during the visits of EAM Dr. Jaishankar in March 2022 and January 2023.”

Minister Muraleedharan said water and sanitation projects in 34 islands of Maldives are now nearing completion, while construction of 4000 housing units in Hulhumale is also progressing well with many towers expected to be finished and delivered in the coming months.

“The Addu Development Project- Roads and Reclamation is a key infrastructure project required for Addu to establish itself as the southern regional hub of the Maldives. India is assisting the Government of Maldives towards this goal,” he said.

Terming the $500 million Greater Male Connectivity Project as a major catalyst for the Maldivian economy, Muraleedharan said India is committed to expediting its implementation.

“Our relationship has achieved huge progress in the last few years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. India’s development cooperation portfolio in Maldives has expanded significantly in recent years. India has become the largest source of tourism for Maldives and the top destination for Maldivians traveling abroad. In the last few months, India has become the largest trading partner of Maldives. We have worked very closely to deal with the challenges of the pandemic,” the MoS for External Affairs said.

On connectivity, he said the groundbreaking ceremony of the Hanimaadhoo international airport redevelopment project was held in January 2023. Work on this project is progressing rapidly. India is also taking up the Gan International Airport redevelopment. Other big projects being developed by India in Maldives include the Gulhifalhu Port project, expansion of facilities of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company Limited, and setting up of a cancer specialty hospital in Laamu atoll.

“Our other big projects in various stages of implementation include I am also happy to note that the $40 million LoC projects for improving sports infrastructure is progressing well,” Muraleedharan said.

“Our grant projects are unique of its kind bringing benefit to the local community. We are already partnering on 45 such projects - 27 of these projects have already been completed,” he added.

India is also extending help in the capacity building of Maldivians. Last year alone, more than 1000 Maldivian people benefited by participating in various in-person training programmes in India, Muraleedharan added.