India’s $228 million social housing projects in Maldives

• Maldives state-owned Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation Thursday signed loan agreements with India’s state-owned National Buildings Construction Company (NBCC) and JMC Projects (India) Ltd, to develop 4,000 social housing units in Hulhulmalé (phase 2) island.

About:
• India’s state owned Exim Bank extended buyer’s credit of approximately $228 million for the construction of these housing units.

• The contracts for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) were signed between Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation and India’s state-owned National Buildings Construction Company (NBCC) to develop 2,000 social housing units, while India-based JMC Projects has been contracted to develop 2,000 additional units.

Why is it important?

• Close to 40% of the entire population of the Maldives lives in Malé, the capital city, that has an area of approximately 8.30 square kilometres, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

• Social housing is an important requirement in the Maldives because in addition to housing shortage, high rent prices are a major challenge for ordinary people in the country.

What is the context in terms of bilateral relations?

• This is a part of India’s developmental assistance project in the Maldives.

• The signing of this agreement comes weeks after the Maldives government officially inked a deal with Mumbai-based company AFCONS, for the construction of the Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP), a $500-million infrastructure project which is the largest-ever by India in the Maldives.

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Mains Paper 2: International Relations

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: India-Maldives relations

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