Politics

Japan gifts USD25 million to establish DTT network in Maldives

Finance Minister Munawar (R) and JICA's chief rep Tanaka sign agreement for Japan to provide USD 25 million as free aid to establish a DTT broadcasting network in the Maldives. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU

The government of Japan has agreed to provide free aid of USD 25 million (MVR 376 million) to establish a digital terrestrial (DTT) broadcasting network in the Maldives.

Minister of Finance Ahmed Munawar signed the agreement in a special ceremony held Tuesday while the Japanese government was represented by Fusato Tanaka, the chief representative of Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).

Speaking at the ceremony, Finance Minister Munawar noted that this is the largest amount of free aid provided by Japan to the Maldives to date. Stating that it marked the close, tenacious relations enjoyed between the two Asian allies, the minister declared that the agreement is a new beginning and expressed hopes for the Maldives to receive similar assistance in the future as well.

“This is a huge investment; it costs in total USD 36 million,” said the minister, highlighting that the free aid from Japan covers the majority of the project cost.

According to Public Service Media (PSM)’s Managing Director Ibrahim Khaleel, the establishment of a DTT network across the Maldives will enable nationwide broadcasting even without satellite aid. He added that the network will not be limited only to state run broadcasters but will be made available to the private sector as well.

“From our current estimations, ten channels can be broadcasted [with DTT]. Over half of that will be allocated for private broadcasters,” he said, noting that DTT will greatly lower the expenses of private broadcasting companies.

Khaleel went on to say that the DTT network will be in service in next year, ahead of the project’s deadline in April 2019. The Maldives’ government also bears a part of the expense of the project.

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Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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