Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has ordered the Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) and the Attorney General's (AG) Office to pursue legal means to obtain the Airport Development Charge (ADC) and Insurance Surcharge deducted from the Variable Annual Concession Fee and Fuel Concession fee.
In a press release issued by the ACC on Wednesday stated that the deal was struck with GMR by the then Chairman of MACL Ibrahim ‘Bandhu’ Saleem and that it is not known whether the board had given consent to the agreement.
The ACC claims that the agreement could only be considered legitimate if the three stakeholders of the agreement had signed a new accord laying down the terms of the deduction from the annual fees paid by GMR to MACL, but given it is not the case, the terms agreed on cannot be considered legally binding.
The commission highlighted that under Article 9 of the Finance Act any revenue to be earned by the State can only be forgone with a set decision by the Auditor General involving the Minister in relevant calculations and with the consent of the President, and that the Finance Ministry is not entitled to make such decisions.
It was noted that GMR was allowed to deduct USD25 as ADC and USD2 for every passenger under clause 18.2 of the agreement signed between GMR and MACL, which dictates it can be done so with the arising of a politicized situation after a notice is handed in under clause 18.3 of the agreement.
The ACC stated that the letter by the MACL stating that the company had no objections to GMR making the deductions also stated that the deal had thus been considered as a concession agreement. But the ACC is quick to point that an order issued by the Civil Court is not political in any sense.
GMR had deducted a total of USD8.2 million from the concessions fees paid to MACL, and MACL had ordered GMR to pay the deducted amount on several occasions yet GMR upholds the validity of the former agreement and has refused to pay the deducted amount.