The Chief of Staff of the President’s Office, Ali Zahir, has claimed that India should also profit from the hydrography survey given that they bear the major costs of conducting it.
Zahir had stated this during an appearance on Public Service Media, the national television channel, to announce the government’s opposition to the “India Out” movement. He had explained that the hydrography survey was being conducted to compile a nautical map of the Maldives.
A hydrography survey collects data about the shallows and depths of the Maldives’ oceans. Ali Zahir said that such information posed a threat to national security.
He said that given that the work was very technical and very expensive, India had a right to profit from it. Ali Zahir had refrained from speaking in detail about India’s profiting off of the data.
As per the agreement, the Maldives would have to purchase the hydrographic maps from India. Accompanied with an order placed by the Maldives with India’s Chief Hydrographer, the Maldives is also obliged to share the information about the ordered maps with the Indian High Commissioner in the Maldives. In exchange for the Maldives’ services, India would reduce the price of the catalogue by 35%, and the Maldivian government would receive 25% in royalties from all maps; compiled from all the data of the Maldives accumulated by the Indian navy; sold.