Maldives hopes GMR contract termination will not impact ties

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Maldives hopes GMR contract termination will not impact ties
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Assam along with other North Eastern states have immense potential in breeding of ornamental and other species of fish if it was taken up professionally.

It would be possible due to the presence of vast water bodies and ponds in the region which were most suitable for breeding of fishes, Director of Mumbai's Central Institute of Fishery Education (CIFE) Wazir Singh Lakra said.

"Its time to start things in phased manner to train progressive farmers, self-help groups, research associates, and interested common people," he said on the closing function of the two-day workshop on 'Prioritization of Research and Education for Fisheries Development in NE India' organised at the Assam Agricultural University campus here.

It is high time to finish all ground works so by the next year, new schemes and projects could be included in the Twelfth plan, he said. "If we start right now, production can be increased and we can occupy a place among the top producing countries of the world," Lakra added.

When asked about the turnaround, Waheed said, "Our When asked about the turnaround, Waheed said, "Our lawyers have advised us that the MACL's contract with GMR is a 'void ab initio' contract, and for this reason it cannot be continued". He added, "There are many more Indian investments in Maldives (and) just to name a few, The State Bank of India, Taj Chain of Hotel, Tatuwa, Tata Housing and many others.

All these businesses are doing well. "Maldives welcomes Indian investments. We have to ensure that they are in accordance with the laws of this country". The President insisted that the termination of GMR contract will not affect bilateral relations with India, which was one of the first to recognise the current government after the regime change in February.

"The Maldivian government values and considers bilateral relationship between our two countries important. We have made our position very clear to the Indian government. Our Foreign Minister met informally with the External Affairs Minister (Salman Khurshid) recently to explain the position of the government and the difficulties the MACL and the government was facing on the GMR issue.

"We remain confident that India-Maldives relation will not be affected by the cancellation of the GMR contract by MACL," he said. Asked about India's reaction, Waheed said "I don't think that Indian reaction is critical of the decision to terminate the GMR agreement.

This is only a single event and Indian government is fully aware of the sentiments of the Maldives in this regard." "Termination of the GMR contract, which was signed under dubious conditions, only provides assurances that Maldives is committed to a clean and safe business environment for foreign investments," the President stressed.

PTI

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