Naifaru MP and Deputy President of opposing PPM Ahmed Shiyam has alleged that the government submitted a bill to introduce more competition to the business sector, in order to introduce India's 'Reliance Communication' to the Maldives.
The bill proposed by the government, sponsored by Mohamed Raai, MP for Makunudhoo. During the debate stage, several members representing main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) noted that the only two telecommunication service providers are unable to provide adequate services, and a new service provider is necessary for the field.
Speaking at a rally held by PPM, Shiyam said the bill was submitted so that Reliance India may be introduced to the country to offer 'competition' to local telecommunication service providers. Alleging that a secret deal had been struck with India and all arrangements for Reliance Communications to be established in the Maldives finalized, MP Shiyam said the Maldives is 'under the clutches of India' to a worrying degree.
"There are only two telecommunication service providers in the Maldives, there is no competition in the sector due to only two companies being in the sector - these are simply excuses being used to bring India's 'Reliance Communications' to the Maldives. The deal is already finalized. Today, India is aware of all our information, everything that is happening here, aren't they? The current administration is allowing these opportunities," said Shiyam.
Shiyam also spoke on a technical assistance agreement between the Maldives and India on hydrography. The MP described the agreement as 'dangerous' and said he is flabbergasted that the defence forces have not raised concern on the agreement.
Shiyam went as far as to accuse India of blocking major investments in Maldives. The MP said only investors that are 'acceptable to India' are allowed to conduct business in the Maldives.
"They [India] are monopolising land from the most important locations in the archipelago. They are taking our land, they are signing agreements. We do not know if they will arrive in the Maldives next week or next month to sign an agreement to take over Uthuru Thilafalhu. [Other] investments are being blocked, no other big countries are able to invest here. There are no opportunities for major investments. The financial intelligence heads of this country are Indians. Only those groups they allow can invest in this country,"alleged Shiyam.
Shiyam added that the current government managed to defeat predecessor former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom with India's aid. Therefore, they are 'bound' to India, said Shiyam.