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New Delhi raises concern after Maldives imposes 'informal' ban on Indians' work permit

File photo. Photograph: (Zee News Network)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 04, 2018, 01.50 PM (IST)

Following reports of the Maldives imposing an "informal" ban on work permits to Indian nationals, Indian government sources said it has raised concern to Maldives officials.

The government sources have told WION that "India is hoping that international public opinion will work on the Maldives".

Government sources said the situation in the Maldives is an "internal development". "Vital security has not been impacted," the officials said, adding, "as a responsible stakeholder, we have to act in a manner which enables the political process."

With Abdulla Yameen-led government firmly in power, New Delhi feels people-to-people contracts should not suffer.  India has therefore decided to "raise concern" on the work permits with the Maldives. 

"Also have to see Opposition will come together", sources said. 

Reports also say that the Maldives may face economic difficulties due to the informal ban as Indians are the majority workforce of Maldives. The ban is also likely to affect the tourism industry as the Maldives has been a preferred destination for Indian tourists while India has been a preferred destination for Maldivians for education, medical treatment and recreation. 

Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives with an approximate strength of around 22,000. 

Indian expatriate community consists of workers as well as professionals like doctors, teachers, accountants, managers, engineers, nurses and technicians etcetera spread over several islands. The Maldives has approximately 400 doctors out of which over 125 are Indians. 

Similarly, around 25 per cent of teachers in the Maldives are Indians, mostly at middle and senior levels.

The ties at the political level between Maldives and India has deteriorated especially after President Yameen dismissed the February 1 order which called for freeing the Opposition leaders and quashing the case against former president Mohamed Nasheed. 

Instead, Chief justice of Supreme Court and former President Gayoom have been sentenced. India has reacted sharply to this latest development. 

Recently, Maldives had also asked India to take back two of its military helicopters which were gifted by New Delhi.

That issue has also not been resolved till now.

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