The credibility of the Narendra Modi government’s neighbourhood first policy is evident as India is now planning to supply thousands of metric tons of onion to Sri Lanka after supplying vast quantities of essential commodities to Maldives under the pro-China Mohammed Muizzu regime, Indian Media reported today.

It is understood that besides this, India on April 3 allowed a supply of additional 10,000 tons of onions over and above its quota to close ally United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the Gulf country is always a priority with Bharat.

Despite the fact that India could have twisted Muizzu on the eve of crucial Majlis elections on April 21, the last paragraph of the export notification to Maldives that export of all essential items will be ‘exempted from any existing restriction/ prohibition on exports.’ This means that India will continue to supply essential commodities to Maldives even if there is any export ban and restriction imposed by India due to unforeseen shortfall in production in nearor distant future.

Fact is that Muizzu’s mission to Turkey, China and UAE to garner funds have turned out to be a cropper as none of the countries have pledged any grants to the Indian Ocean littoral state. Thanks to short sightedness of Muizzu, Saudi Arabia is just not interested in Maldives after the Maldivian Salafi leader went to Turkey as his first foreign visit after he was sworn as Maldivian President on November 17, 2023. Muizzu has still not visited India as he came to power riding on an anti-India campaign.

The Indian decision to export essential commodities was not based on politics but a reach to the Maldivian public and to also give a signal that Bharat is with Maldives whosoever be the ruler of the tiny island nation.

The Maldivian economy is right now as well as no infrastructure projects have been revived by Muizzu after he came to power and the country owes some USD one billion as debt repayment on account of sovereign bonds in 2026. Male owes USD 50 million as interest to SBI in May and another USD 50 million in September on account of treasury bills purchased by the Indian multinational bank.

Thanks to toxic anti-India policies pursued by Maldives ruler Muizzu, the high spending Indian tourist arrivals in Male have plunged with the island nation swamped by low-spending Chinese tourists. Even though there is no threat to Muizzu’s government whatever the results of Majlis elections, the Modi government is keen to ensure that the Maldivian public does to suffer on account of policies of its erratic ruler.

Source: Hindustan Times