Gov't not informed of Afcons' sale: Spokesperson

The government has not been informed of the sale of the Indian company Afcons, which has been contracted with the construction of the Thilamale' Bridge, Presidential Spokesperson Miuwan Mohamed has said.

At a press conference at the President's Office today, Miuwan said the Maldives government had not received any information regarding the sale of Afcons.

"When I checked last night, they have not shared any information directly with the Maldives government regarding the matter," he said.

The spokesperson said the sale of Afcons will not affect the ongoing projects in the Maldives.

"The transfer of Afcons' shares by its parent company to another company will not affect the work being done by the company. The agreement between the company and the Maldives government will remain in place. The work being done by the company will continue," he said.

Afcons is owned by Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group, controlled by Indian billionaire Shapoor Mistry.

Miuwan said he had seen in the media that the parent company of Afcons planned to sell the subsidiary company. He said the sale of companies is common, and the world's largest holding companies sell their subsidiary companies and assets all the time.

The government is spending about MVR 10 billion on the projects implemented by Afcons in the Maldives. That is about MVR 8 billion for the Thilamale' Bridge project and about MVR 2 billion for the Addu City Road Construction project.

Some Indian newspapers have reported that in addition to Afcons, the Gopalpur port, which is operated by the SP Group in India, is being sold due to the financial problems faced by the SP. The company is reportedly trying to sell about $2 billion in assets. According to financial statements, SP, which is worth about MVR 30 billion, also sold some of its assets last year due to financial problems.

Reports of Afcons' sale come amid protests by employees working on the company's projects in India and Maldives over unpaid salaries. AFCONS has also yet to pay a fine of MVR 69 million owed to the Maldives state.