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News, photos and discussions on Maldives projects and construction kay:
MALE, October 14 (HNS) – Six resorts have applied to extend the lease to 50 years.
Tourism Ministry said Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (Kaaf atoll Makunufushi), Meeru Island Resort (Kaaf atoll Meerufenfushi), Veligandu Island Resort (Alif Alif atoll Veligandu), Rihiveli Beach Resort (Kaaf atoll Mahaana Elhi Huraa), Vilamendhoo Island Resort (Alif Dhaal atoll Vilamendhoo) and Mirihi Island Resort (Alif Dhaal atoll Mirihi) applied to extend the lease under the amendment to Tourism Act which came into effect on September 8.
Under the amendment, the ministry published a regulation on payments for lease extension.
According to the regulation, the lease period will be extended after a US$100,000 per year fee is paid to the ministry in US dollars. While 18 months will be given to extend the period for resorts in operation when the act came into effect, 38 months are given for resorts not in operation.
The ministry published a list of eligible 97 resorts in operation and 62 islands leased for resort development.
Although resorts are normally being leased to 25 years, the Tourism Act allows an additional 15-year extension if the initial investment is over US$10 million. The ministry earlier extended the lease of many resorts to 35 years.
MALE, October 14 (HNS) – The opposition Thursday opposed the government’s decision to consider Addu atoll as a city, citing it unconstitutional.
On Wednesday, President Mohamed Nasheed told journalists that Addu atoll islands Hithadhoo, Maradhoo-Feydhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo, Hulhudhoo and Hulhu-Meedhoo would be considered districts and a municipality would replace the atoll office.
Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Deputy President, former Justice Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel said the Local Government Authority is assigned to consider islands as cities and it should only be carried out under the Decentralisation Act.
“Look at Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur. They all became cities much later, after the economic development, services, employment opportunities and population activities reached to a certain standard. This status is linked to many factors,” he said.
Noting that the government is not willing to give powers to the people, Jameel stressed that the government’s intention is to influence atolls with large populations.
According to the result of the public referendum held on Saturday, only Meedhoo and Feydhoo islanders voted against the government’s proposal.
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali also noted that the government’s decision was unlawful and said the party would seek public opinion before taking any action.
“The referendum was held to make a city by consolidating the islands. For instance, the referendum in Hithadhoo was held not to take a decision on its outcome alone. If a city is to be created, it means that the city does not include two islands [Meedhoo and Feydhoo],” he said.
Hithadhoo-South DRP MP Hassan Latheef said the atoll could not be considered a city without the majority of all the islands.
“We do not have any objection if the government carries out this process within the boundaries of law. But Addu cannot be considered a city when two islands have voted against the proposal. The majority should be considered in the referendum. We do not have any problem if the government educates the islanders about the benefits of the plan and go for another referendum,” he said.
MALE, October 14 (HNS) – Opposition coalition is set to appeal Civil Court judge to rule on the lawsuit filed against the US$27 airport development fee to be charged at Male International Airport by India’s GMR Infrastructure.
Civil Court on October 6 rejected the lawsuit filed by Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), People’s Alliance (PA) and Jumhooree Party, because it was filed on a non-established plan.
DQP Deputy Leader Imad Solih said several matters are being settled since the agreement was signed between the government and GMR.
Imad stressed that the constitution prohibits charging the US$27 tax from passengers leaving at the airport without the Taxation Act.
“We are seeing the company preparing to charge the US$27 tax commencing from March 2011, without the Taxation Act in place. The court’s registrar rejected the lawsuit because there is still time to pass the Taxation Act,” he said.
Imad noted that GMR is briefing the benefits of the US$27 tax to international banks to procure loans for airport development.
“We do not believe that the lawsuit can be rejected as this is being implemented. Even if the court’s registrar rejects the lawsuit, it does not mean that the court rejected it. According to trial regulations, the judge is authorised to appeal such cases,” he said.
Imad said the case would be appealed to the Civil Court judge next week.
“We are appealing the case to declare that the lawsuit is valid,” he said.
The parties earlier sought a court order requiring parliament approval to tax passengers at the airport.
http://www.sundaytimes.lk/101017/BusinessTimes/bt27.htmlTata Housing, a unit of Tata Sons, is moving into international markets with the launch of projects in Sri Lanka and Maldives in the current quarter, a top executive of the company was quoted as saying in Indian news reports.
The real estate company, known for low-cost housing projects, plans to do a mix of luxury and affordable housing projects in these markets, he said.
“We have got interest from other foreign countries also, which we are examining. But for now, we are planning to launch our projects in one of the cities in Sri Lanka or Maldives in the current quarter,” said Brotin BanerjeeManaging Director/CEO, according to these reports.
MALE, October 17 (HNS) – The government is set to build 300-inmate capacity jails at the northern and southern regions.
State Minister for Home Affairs Ahmed Adil said concepts for the two medium-security prisons were made and the locations would be announced soon.
“The inmates should always be inside the cells in the current prisons. But the modern way is to offer rehabilitation services and employment opportunities within the prison,” he said.
“With these two prisons, the overcrowding [at Maafushi prison] would be resolved.”
Adil stressed that the prisons would offer educational and employment opportunities to the inmates. The parliament passed Rf88 million for the construction in 2010 state budget.
According to Home Ministry, tenders would be invited within the next two weeks and construction of the northern region jail will commence within this year.
The ministry sought security advice from IFRC, UNOFS and UNODC.
The ministry further emphasised that the inmates would be accepted by the society when they complete their sentence.
MALE, October 17 (HNS) – Immigration Department Sunday signed an agreement with Malaysia’s Nexbis Limited to develop Maldives border control system, despite Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) refusal.
ACC Deputy Commissioner Muawwiz Rasheed said the commission informed the department twice on Sunday to adjourn the signing ceremony after it received a “serious” complaint.
“We faxed a letter twice and sent another letter to the department at 9.35am after we received a complaint over the bid evaluation process. So we asked to put the signing ceremony on hold as we needed time to investigate the matter,” he said.
“The law gives us the authority to take actions if our decision is violated. We have to take action if our decision is violated.”
At a ceremony held at Immigration Department, Minister of State, Controller of Immigration and Emigration Ilyas Hussein Ibrahim and Nexbis CEO Johan Yong signed the 20-year build, operate and transfer (BOT) concession contract. The system value and fees to be charged from its services are still unclear.
Asked by Haveeru about the system, Ilyas said the successful party was selected from the bids received via Finance Ministry after consulting the ministry and Attorney General’s (AG) Office.
“Under the BOT agreement, the company will build, operate and transfer the system to Immigration. The Maldives government is not required to spend any money on the system,” he said.
Ilyas noted that the government should repay the undisclosed development cost within 20 years.
“The system would be upgraded and machines would be changed once in every five years,” he said.
“We will be able to use most of the software of the system within the next six months. By the grace of God, the whole state immigration would be improved.”
According to the bidding invitation announcement issued earlier this year, the electronic border gate system should be equipped with automated facial recognition technology and fingerprint technology to identify the immigrants and an integrated system should provide instant access to travel document records, passport, and visa and fingerprint database.
Haveeru, however, understands that Nexbis’s system does not include key features including e-gate, automated facial recognition technology and passport production.
Haveeru also learned from a reliable source that Assistant Immigration Controller and Head of IT Department Ibrahim Waheed shared information about the system with Finance Ministry on Thursday after the ministry enquired about missing information from the technical proposal and the concession agreement. Waheed returned from the ministry on Ilyas’s request and was asked not to carry out any work regarding the border control system and IT. Haveeru, however, was unable to confirm the reports.
Haveeru also understands that the signing ceremony was originally set for Wednesday before changing it to Sunday for an undisclosed reason.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33094MALE, October 27 (HNS) – A public complaint has been lodged with Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that Haa Dhaal atoll Nolhivaranfaru sewerage project was awarded to the joint venture between Power Engineering and Altech Maldives against regulations.
Tropic M and E Services Managing Director Aayathulla Hussein, who sent the case, said the company’s bid was cancelled illegally as the evaluation was done against the criteria stated in the bid document.
According to the complaint letter, the evaluation criteria did not stipulate to prorate the project value. Although Tropic M received the lowest marks in value proration, the full marks for the category were not given to the company, the letter said.
Tropic noted that the project value proposed by the company and the joint venture had an Rf2.3 million difference.
Upper North Utilities Company General Manager Ali Hashim said the company responded ACC enquiries.
“They are just having a misunderstanding. Their bid was never cancelled, but they did not win the bid,” he said.
Hashim stressed that Tropic proposed a project value lower than the standard which would reduce the quality of the work and materials. The company is trying to stop the project via government influence, he added.
The project was awarded to the joint venture for Rf8.1 million.
MALE, October 27 (HNS) – Home Ministry is to build a 10-storey building in Male for NGOs.
Deputy Director General Mohamed Waheed said the building aimed at resolving the office space issues for NGOs activities would be built off north Viyafaariveringe Mosque.
“We expect to include the funds in next year’s state budget and start the construction next year,” he said.
The ministry is drafting policies on giving space from the building and other services provided from the building. The cabinet in October suggested the government to construct a building for NGOs with state funds, the ministry added.
Earlier this year, 149 NGOs that participated in the national forum on NGO development raised concerns over the lack of space for running the organisations.
MALE, October 31 (HNS) – Fourteen resorts have applied to extend the lease to 50 years under the amendment to Tourism Act which came into effect on September 8.
Earlier, six resorts applied for lease extension.
According to the regulation on payments for lease extension, the lease period will be extended after a US$100,000 per year fee is paid to the ministry in US dollars. While 18 months will be given to extend the period for resorts in operation when the act came into effect, 38 months are given for resorts not in operation.
Below is a list of the 20 resorts that applied for lease extension:
1. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (Kaaf atoll Makunufushi)
2. Meeru Island Resort (Kaaf atoll Meerufenfushi)
3. Veligandu Island Resort (Alif Alif atoll Veligandu)
4. Rihiveli Beach Resort (Kaaf atoll Mahaana Elhi Huraa)
5. Vilamendhoo Island Resort (Alif Dhaal atoll Vilamendhoo)
6. Mirihi Island Resort (Alif Dhaal atoll Mirihi)
7. Hilton Maldives Irufushi Resort and Spa (Noonu atoll Medhafushi)
8. Vilu Reef Beach and Spa Resort (Dhaal atoll Meedhuffushi)
9. Beach House Maldives, The Waldorf Astoria Collection (Haa Alif atoll Manafaru)
10. Angaga Island Resort and Spa (Alif Dhaal atoll Angaga)
11. Coco Palm Kuda Hithi (Kaaf atoll Kuda Hithi)
12. Coco Palm Bodu Hithi (Kaaf atoll Bodu Hithi)
13. Kurumba Maldives (Kaaf atoll Vihamanafushi)
14. Velassaru Maldives (Kaaf atoll Velassaru)
15. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa (Furahani)
16. Baros Holiday Island (Kaaf atoll Baros)
17. Kuramathi Tourist Resort (Alif Alif atoll Kuramathi)
18. Huvafen Fushi Resort and Spa (Kaaf atoll Nakachaafushi)
19. W Retreat and Spa Maldives (Alif Alif atoll Fesdhoo)
20. Twin Island (Alif Dhaal atoll Maafushivaru)
The ministry published a list of eligible 97 resorts in operation and 62 islands leased for resort development.
MALE, November 1 (HNS) – Government has proposed to award Gaaf Dhaal atoll Kaadehdhoo airport and an island for resort development to Island Aviation Services (IAS) to cover for the losses from transferring the company’s most profitable three departments to India’s GMR Infrastructure.
Privatisation Committee Chair Mahmood Razee said the proposal was made to assist the company in cutting down the operational cost. He noted that the company could use Kaadehdhoo airport as a hub.
“We hope that the company would be able to cut down the operational cost by managing an airport. The company will also have the chance to develop the airport as a joint venture with another company,” he said.
Razee stressed that the company has the full power to accept or reject the proposal.
“Although the company lost profit from Male International Airport, transferring a lot of employees [to GMR] will reduce the operational cost. It is also expected that the company will start making profit within three years of taking over the operations of Kaadehdhoo airport,” he said.
IAS Admin Manager Ali Nashaath said discussions are underway to handover the operations of Kaadehdhoo airport. She, however, did not disclose details.
IAS earlier said the company tried to manage cargo services department, ground services department and Maldivian ground operations. Nashaath earlier said senior company officials including Managing Director and Finance Ministry officials travelled to India to discuss the matter with GMR officials.
The government leased Male International Airport to GMR for 25 years.
According to Managing Director ‘Bandu’ Ibrahim Saleem’s annual report, the company recorded an Rf67 million profit from ground services, cargo and lounge services, compared to 2008’s Rf56 million. The Managing Director in his report said the company would lose the profit from ground services, cargo and lounge services if the airport is privatised.
IAS earlier said Rf100 million would be needed for sustainable management annually if the company loses the businesses at the airport.
MALE, November 1 (HNS) – India’s GMR Infrastructure had paid the US$78 million (about Rf1 billion) upfront to the government, Finance Ministry announced Monday.
State Minister for Finance Ahmed Aslam said the ministry received the bank deposit document on Sunday – the deadline for the payment.
The government earlier said the consortium formed between GMR and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) should settle the payment prior to the scheduled takeover of operations in November.
“The document was sent yesterday and the money would be received within 72 hours maximum. We are expecting to get the sum today, as yesterday was a public holiday [for other countries],” Aslam said.
The government leased the airport to GMR for 25 years on June 29. The Indian company formed a joint venture with Malaysia Airports Holdings and registered GMR Male International Airport Private Limited at Trade Ministry.
The GMR-MAHB consortium proposed to pay US$78 million (almost Rf1 billion) upfront, one percent of the total profit in the first year (until 2014) and 10 percent of the profit from 2015 to 2035. It also agreed to pay 15 percent of fuel trade revenues in the first four years and 27 percent from 2015 to 2035.
The government earlier revealed that GMR-MAHB would invest US$400 million for building, modernising, and expanding the airport.
MALE, November 2 (HNS) – Education Ministry Tuesday announced plans to construct a new building for Majeediyya School on the land, which currently houses former Linguistics and Historical Research Centre, and bridge the building with the school.
A ministry official said the 12-classroom building aimed at solving the space issue, which prevents single session education at Majeediyya, will be connected with the school via a 30-foot high bridge.
“The bridge will connect the original eastern building with the new one to be constructed where former Linguistics and Historical Research Centre is located on. The bridge will not cause any traffic issues,” the official said.
The official stressed that the bridge will be constructed across Meduziyaaraiy Magu wide enough to make it safe for the students.
According to the ministry, the drawings have been completed and bids will be invited soon. The ministry also expects to complete the three-storey building by the end of next year.
MALE, November 9 (HNS) - Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has awarded Herathera Island Resort in Addu atoll to Thailand’s ONYX Hospitality Group.
The corporation also confirmed the report but declined to disclose details as the company spokesperson is currently out of country. Pan Pacific Hotel Group of Singapore and Amari, a brand of ONYX, submitted proposals to manage the resort.
ONYX Chief Executive Officer Peter Henley told Travel Blackboard and other international news agencies that the company would take over the operations of the resort on December 1.
“We look forward to working closely with MTDC on a range of exciting improvements so that this wonderful resort will be able to showcase its full potential,” he said.
International media also reported that the company aims to carry out significant upgrades including enhancements to the beach and villas as well as the addition of numerous sports and children’s facilities.
MTDC Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Mihad told international media that the re-launch of Herathera would play a significant part in developing the southern part the Maldives with Gan International Airport as the hub.
ONYX Hospitality Group is Thailand’s leading hotel management company which holds world-renowned brands like Amari, Saffron, Shama, Ozo and Sivara Spa. Hotels being run under Amari brand include Amari Atrium, Amari Watergate, Amari Don Muang, Amari Boulevard and Amari Residences in Bangkok. The company also manages Amari Nova Suites, Amari Orchid, Amari Rincome, Amari Emerald Cove, Amari Palm Reef, Amari Coral Beach and Amari Vogue outside Bangkok.
ONYX will manage Herathera under Amari brand.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33324MALE, November 9 (HNS) - Government has leased Halaveli Guesthouse and the VIP Guesthouse at Laamu atoll Kaadehdhoo regional airport to Heavy Load for three years.
Regional Airports Deputy Director General Abbas Mohamed said the two guesthouses were leased to Heavy Load as the tender evolution board found that the company submitted the best proposal. He, however, did not disclose the rent but said the company proposed over Rf1 million as advance payment.
Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary Group Leader ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik holds shares in Heavy Load.
The agreement to handover the eight-room Halaveli Guesthouse and the nine-room presidential suite VIP Guesthouse was signed on Thursday.
“The two guesthouses were leased to the company under the government’s privatisation policy. Finance Ministry leased the two guesthouses based on a certain policy,” Abbas said.
He stressed that the decision was made according to the regulation on developing and managing guesthouses. Regional Airports also said three parties submitted proposals to manage the guesthouses.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33320MALE, November 9 (HNS) – Maldives government has terminated the agreement with India’s Apollo Group to manage Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), Health Minister Dr Aiminath Jameel said Tuesday.
Dr Aiminath said the agreement made on January 15 was terminated because Apollo was unable to invest the agreed amount to develop the hospital. She, however, did not disclose the amount.
Health Ministry earlier announced that the government and Apollo would invest US$20 million to improve services at the hospital. Under the agreement, Apollo would train people and make IGMH an 80 percent local staffed hospital within 15 years, the ministry said.
President Mohamed Nasheed in October said the government would hand over the hospital to Apollo only after the company invests US$25 million to develop the hospital. Apollo thought the government and the company would share the capital investment, he added.
“We never talked about handing over the management without that investment. For instance, we never talked about leasing the airport without US$370 million [investment]. Apollo would get IGMH only after the company brings in healthy investment,” he said.
Health Minister noted that Apollo agreed to procure funds for the development of the hospital, but was unable to give the commitment.
“We had to go for the agreement because we were unable to raise the funds. We had to terminate the agreement because they [Apollo] were unable to meet the terms and conditions stated in the agreement. Every agreement specifies deadlines to settle certain matters,” she said.
“We have also informed them [Apollo] that the agreement has been terminated. But they can still settle other matters by contacting Male Health Services Corporation.”
The deadline for signing an Operational Management Agreement (OMA) between Male Health Services Corporation (MHSC) and Apollo expired by July.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/33389MALE, November 14 (HNS) – Housing Development Corporation (HCD) last week gave a land plot to Immigration Department from Hulhumale emergency shelter area to build a detention centre for illegal expatriate workers.
Immigration Controller Ilyas Hussein Ibrahim said the detention centre would be built on the area where emergency shelters for tsunami-affected families are currently located. The department is working on vacating the area, he added.
Haveeru understands that tsunami-hit islanders of Raa atoll Kandholhudhoo, Thilafushi and Madifushi live at the emergency shelters constructed with iron sheets.
Disaster Management Centre in charge, State Housing Minister Abdulla Shahid said some 30 residents of three islands have several excuses for living at the shelters.
“A Dhuvaafaru islander at the place claims that he does not have enough houses in the island. But he has been given two houses. Another islander demands furniture to be at the house. They have all sorts of excuses,” he said.
Shahid stressed that no reason exists for them to stay at the emergency shelters. Attorney General’s (AG) Office has been asked to file a lawsuit to vacate the area, he added.
“Earlier when we disconnected electricity, they lodged the complaint with the parliamentary tsunami recovery committee. Since then we have been providing electricity and water free of charge. The parliament informed us that the place should be vacated via court,” he said.
Ilyas noted that the boundary wall and a gate would be constructed at the land plot once Finance Ministry approves funds.
“This centre will resolve the space issues that we currently face. The land plot gives us the necessary space and resources,” he said.
Ilyas said the land plot houses two living quarters, three toilets and a kitchen.
“We will not have to keep a lot of expatriates at the centre if we get the tickets easily. But the crowding is because of the delay in getting the tickets to send them home,” he said.
Immigration currently keeps illegal expatriate workers in a hall at the former government employees’ club building.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/d...tration_grants_building_to_run_Juvenile_CourtMALE, December 8 (HNS) – Department of Judicial Administration has granted a building to run the Juvenile Court.
According to the department's website, the building at M. Maathila was granted to the Juvenile Court. The website also states that the building is designed in such a way that the court can be run in that premises.
Criminal Court, Civil Court, and Family Courts have also been complaining of lack of space. This gives rise to problems such as difficulties in running the courts, and providing security to those who attend the courts.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/34148MALE, January 8 (HNS) – Gan Airport Company will sign an agreement with State Trading Organisation (STO) before the end of this month to develop and manage Gan International Airport.
Gan Airport Company Managing Director Mohamed Didi said STO would manage the airport through a joint venture formed between two other companies. He, however, declined to disclose details of the two companies.
“The discussions are going at a very fast pace. Discussions were held in last week and this week as well. We are expecting to sign the agreement before the end of this month,” he said.
The government-owned company expressed interest in managing the nation’s second international airport in last month. The company earlier said the airport provides an opportunity to broaden the company’s business.
STO Chairman Farooq Umar said last Monday that the company is interested in managing the airport. Discussions with interested parties to manage the airport through a joint venture are underway, he added.
The company further expressed confidence in securing the funds to develop the airport.
The government earlier terminated the Gan airport privatisation agreement with Dubai-based Supreme Fuel Trading FZE after the company failed to comply. Privatisation Committee said the ‘Rehabilitation, Expansion, Modernisation, Operations, and Maintenance Agreement’ signed on June 17 was terminated because the company failed to submit the airport development proposal within the required 180 days.
http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/34151MALE, January 8 (HNS) – Forty-four medical centres in the northern atolls will be transferred to Upper North Health Services Corporation, the company has said.
The 44 hospitals and health centres include 14 centres in Haa Alif, 16 in Haa Dhaal and 14 in Shaviyani atoll
A company announcement said all the employees working at the centres would be transferred to the company and full salaries and allowances will be provided.
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel...ns-for-blondesonly-resort-20110203-1aflp.htmlEmpowering blondes or stereotyping them?
The jury is out on a Lithuanian company that plans to build a "fantasy resort" staffed only by blondes in the Maldives.
Olialia has used its troupe of fair-haired models in Lithuania to market just about anything from potato chips to pop music.
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It's unclear how the concept will be received in the Maldives, which requires foreign developers to hire at least 50 per cent local staff.
Brand manager Lauryna Anuseviciute says "staff who are not blond will wear a blond wig to make everyone look similar."
The resort plans are still in their infancy but Anuseviciute insists Olialia already has secured financing.
Maldives tourism officials say they haven't received any details about the resort and haven't issued any permits.
MALE, June 6 (HNS) – Religious conservative Adhaalath Party has warned of a nationwide strike if the government allows Israeli national airline to operate flights to the Maldives.
In a statement, the party urged the government to put an immediate end to the efforts to license Israeli national airline to operate flights to the Maldives and called on the government to abolish the agreement made earlier between the two countries.
“If Adhaalath Party has to organise such a strike, this party appeals all the Maldivians who love their religion and the nation to stand up against the government’s efforts,” the statement read.
MALE, June 2 (HNS) – GMR Male International Limited has settled the pending US$3.5 million from the amount it owes to the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA) as airport service charge and fuel re-export royalty, the authority said today.
An official of the authority said the company, which manages Male International Airport, made the payment as the authority notified after a tax audit that the amount was unsettled.