India extends $250 million loan to Maldives to deal with COVID economic impact 'without conditions'

WION Malé, Maldives Sep 20, 2020, 02.43 PM(IST) Sep 20, 2020, 02.51 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India extends help to Maldives Photograph:( WION )

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Maldives is the only country to which India has provided such assistance to deal with COVID's economic impact.

India has formally extended the $250 million loan to Maldives government to deal with the economic impact of the COVID crisis. 

It was handed over at a ceremony in Maldivian capital Malé in the presence of Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer, Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir and CEO of SBI in Male, Bharat Mishra. 

The Indian mission in Maldives in a statement said,"The budgetary support of USD 250 million is extended without conditions".

Explaining, "Government of Maldives is at liberty to use the money in repairing the domestic economic situation in line with its own priorities".

The loan of USD 250 million has a tenor of 10 years and since the "principal payment is due only at the end of 10 years, it will not put any immediate debt servicing liability other than bi-annual very low interest payment," the statement added futher.

Development stands in contrast to Chinese loans to the country in previous Yameen administration which has been a concern in terms of the debt crisis it has precipitated. 

Maldives is the only country to which India has provided such assistance to deal with COVID's economic impact.

The loan has been extended in response to the request made by Maldives President Solih to PM Modi for financial assistance and was announced after the virtual meeting between External Affairs minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Maldives Financial Minister earlier this year. 

Amdist the COVID crisis, India has reached out to Maldives in number of ways including by sending a rapid response team of doctors and specialists, a consignment of 5.5 tons of essential medicines, followed by more consignments and 580 tons of food aid including foodgrains, onions, etc in May. 

Also, approximately 500 Maldivians in eight batches of Maldivian patients have travelled to India in the past few weeks.

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