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Environment Ministry decides against cancelling Afcons’ MVR 69M fine

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Environment Ministry has decided against cancelling the MVR 69 million fine imposed on India’s Afcons Infrastructure for damages to the Vilimale’ reef.

Yuvraj, the self-elevating platform used by Afcons for the construction of the Thilamale’ Bridge wrecked on the Vilimale’ reef on August 16, 2022. It was refloated nearly two weeks later, on August 27, 2022.

A survey conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed the reef sustained massive damages in the incident, and resulted in four large craters forming on the reef.

The EPA fined Afcons by MVR 69 million in November 2022.

The company appealed the fine with Environment Ministry.

Following a review of the appeal, the Environment Ministry announced on Tuesday that it found no cause to amend the fine amount, as it found Afcons had the opportunity to have preventive measures.

The ministry also found the fine payment was crucial to EPA’s efforts to mitigate the damages to the reef.

It said that MVR 15 million from the fine payment will go to EPA’s Environment Restoration Fund.

EPA’s report shows the wrecking of Afcon’s platform resulted in damages to a 2,755 square meter area of the reef.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Discussions held on exempting tariff from Maldivian fish exports to Türkiye

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Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer has revealed that discussions were held on Tuesday, regarding exempting duty levied on fisheries products imported to Türkiye from the Maldives.

Minister Zameer said the discussion took place during a meeting between Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu and Türkiye’s Deputy Minister of Trade Mustafa Tuzcu as part of the ongoing official visit to President Muizzu to Türkiye.

Zameer said easier access for Maldives fish products to Türkiye market was also noted during the meeting. At the same time, discussions also focused on opportunities for enhancing trade and cooperation between the Maldives and Türkiye, including removing the tariff on Maldivian fish exports to Türkiye.

Discussions focused on exploring new areas of cooperation, such as tourism, construction, and renewable energy generation. They also addressed enhancing partnerships in existing areas of cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral.

He expressed confidence that Maldives-Türkiye relations will reach new heights through greater trade cooperation.

The meeting was also attended by other cabinet ministers accompanying President Muizzu in his ongoing visit. During the meeting, the President expressed his desire to deepen bilateral cooperation in commerce and investment between the Maldives and Türkiye. The President underscored the Maldives’ eagerness to explore opportunities for increased trade and investment with Türkiye, emphasizing that the aspirations for greater national development resonate deeply with the Maldivian people.

He also suggested increasing Turkish Airlines flights to the Maldives, considering the nation’s potential as a hub connecting the West to the East.

In conclusion, the President expressed optimism that Maldives- Türkiye cooperation would reach new heights during his tenure.

During the visit, the President also met with the Maldivian community residing in Türkiye where he pledged to work on remedying difficulties faced due to the dollar limit imposed on Bank of Maldives (BML) cards.

President Muizzu also called on the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Sri Lanka to sign FTA with Thailand in February: Colombo

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COLOMBO, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka plans is expected to sign the Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in February 2024, Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday.

At a press conference, Gunawardena said the agreement will be signed following the completion of negotiations by December 2023.

The cabinet has approved the free trade agreement, which will see 80 percent of tariff lines liberalized over 15 years, he said.

Sri Lanka is Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner in South Asia, and Sri Lanka’s main exports to Thailand include gems, jewellery, tea, spices, fiber and metal products, according to official data.

In 2021, Sri Lanka imported goods from Thailand worth 355 million U.S. dollars and exported 59 million dollars’ worth of commodities to Thailand, according to official data.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Fenaka slapped with MVR 4M fine

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Fenaka Corporation has been slapped with MVR 4 million fine for building power houses at 21 islands without completion of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process.

In a statement on Sunday, Environment Protection Agency (EPA) said they investigated Fenaka for building powerhouses at 21 islands without completing the EIA process. Following their investigation, EPA said they have fined Fenaka by MVR 4,200,000.

EPA’s statement read that information received during the investigation and the documents exchanged between the two parties established that physical works on the powerhouses commenced without completing the EIA process.

They also noted that Fenaka had been previously fined for violating the regulations of EIA.

The 21 islands where physical works on the powerhouses commenced without completion of EIA are;

HDh. Finey
HA. Uligan
HA. Utheemu
GDh, Maavarulu
Sh. Feydhoo
Sh. Maaungoodhoo
HA. Dhidhdhoo
R. Rasgetheemu
R. Kinolhas
N. Kendhikulhudhoo
HA. Muraidhoo
Sh. Komandoo
N. Fodhdhoo
Sh. Kurendhoo
HDh. Kulhudhuffushi
HDh. Kumudhoo
Dh. Meedhoo
L. Maabaidhoo
HA. Molhaidhoo
GDh. Rathafandhoo
GA. Villingilli
Fenaka Has been instructed by EPA to settle the fine within 30 days, starting today.

EPA also called on Fenaka to adhere to regulations while undertaking projects.

Source(s): sun.mv

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