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Current Affairs

India’s social housing project in Maldives

Date: 25 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 National Buildings Construction Company (NBCC) and JMC Projects (India) Ltd have signed a deal with Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation of Maldivian government to build social housing units.

 

Background

Recently, the Maldivian government had signed a deal with AFCONS for the construction of the Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP).

 

Details

  • The idea of social housing was conceptualized in 1990 with financial assistance from China. It was not implemented until now.

  • The social housing units is being developed in Hulhulmalé (phase 2) island. The Exim Bank has provided $228 million credit.

  • The project mainly involves construction of low-cost housing projects in the country. Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation is the key player.

 

Importance

  • Close to 40% of Maldivian population lives in Male. Its density is one of the highest in the world due to lack of available space.

  • To decongest the city and clear space, the government is planning on developing other nearby inhabited islands.

  • The development includes construction of civic amenities such as hospitals, schools and industrial areas for encouraging people to relocate to other islands.

 

Importance for Maldivian economy

  • People spend a large amount of their income on paying exorbitant rents. Among the poor, about 68% of their income is spent on rent.

  • The project is designed to benefit the poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable sections, women and single-headed households and those people by disasters and displacement.

 

Impact on relationship

  • India has increased its presence in several developmental projects across the island nation since the Solih government took charge.

  • This position was occupied by China during the Abdulla Yameen regime. The change in stance is attributed to China’s debt diplomacy.

  • The country will be witnessing presidential elections in 2024 followed by Parliamentary elections. India would want the same government to return by virtue of such projects.