Indian media has reported that India is concerned over the Maldives’ leasing of islands to foreign companies and may even discuss the matter with Maldivian officials.
The report comes at a time when the Maldives government has sold off Feydhoo Finolhu Island for USD 4 million to an unnamed Chinese Company.
Indian newspaper ‘The Economic Times’ reported that the leasing of Feydhoo Finolhu Island to a Chinese Company had sparked concern in India.
According to the news report, Indian officials may even discuss the matter with Maldivian foreign minister Mohamed Asim when he visits New Delhi in January.
It adds that the leasing of “an island close to Male’ airport to a Chinese company could have adverse strategic implications for India in its backyard”.
The report further alleges China of eyeing opportunities to help build infrastructures in the Maldives to expand its footprint in the Indian Ocean region.
Whilst Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer confirmed that the island had been leased to a Chinese company, RaajjeTV learns that a Maldivian business tycoon holds shares in the company.
Following an amendment to the Tourism Act, the government announced a list of 11 islands and two lagoons which can be sold off without a bidding process.