The Government of India has earned US$ 24,834 from the sale of hydrographic charts of the Maldives.
Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) had made the information public, after a ceremony was held in defense headquarters to hand over part of the proceeds to the government of Maldives. The cash was handed over in a ceremony held in Defense headquarters on Tuesday. India’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar handed over the royalty cheque to Deputy Defense Minister Hassan Zameel.
MNDF said that Maldives had received US$ 8,278 as royalty fees from this transaction. The leaked Hydrography agreement showed that India has to handover 25 percent as royalty payments from every chart made by Indian Naval postings in the Maldives. Maldives would need to purchase any chart of the country’s hydrographic sphere from India.
Based on these numbers and percentage share, the Government of India had earned US$ 33,112 from the sale of Maldivian sea charts.
Under the agreement, hydrographic surveys were conducted in Haa Dhaal and Kulhudhuffushi area.
The agreement also states that in the event the Government of Maldives needed any charts, the Indian government would dispatch them to the Indian High Commission in the Maldives. The High Commission would then disburse the maps and charts. Furthermore, biannual sales reports need to be compiled and shared with the Commission. All sales made under this agreement, apart from agency and royalty fees, has to be routed to an Indian High Commission account.
An Indian naval vessel is presently in the country. India had previously attempted to further their naval exploration under the previous administration. The Yameen administration had denied these attempts, citing security concerns.
Hydrography surveys map out and gather information on key strategic aspects. These are guarded as national secrets and are not shared with other nations. It has to be noted that there are several local companies capable of carrying out such surveys. To this date, the administration had not offered an explanation why no locals were tasked with the project.