(News 1st); Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Sri Lankan High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda discussed on Friday (11) the finalization of a $1 billion line of credit to be provided by India to the island nation to purchase essential items to overcome an economic crisis.
Moragoda met with Sitharaman and conveyed to him Sri Lanka’s appreciation for the support provided so far by India. He thanked her for her personal interest in supporting Sri Lanka at this “critical moment”, according to a statement from the Sri Lankan High Commission.
“The High Commissioner also followed up with Minister Sitharaman on the rapid finalization of the $1 billion line of credit for the procurement of essential items, which is part of the four-pillar concept of bilateral economic cooperation,” says the press release.
As part of the four-pillar package decided during Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi last year, the Indian side has so far provided a $500 million line of credit. for the purchase of fuel and a $400 million currency swap under the Saarc facility. . The Indian side also postponed the payment of $515 million that was due to the Asian Clearing Union.
Progress in finalizing the $1 billion line of credit was last reviewed during a virtual meeting between Rajapaksa and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on January 18.
Moragoda also thanked Sitharaman for India’s assistance to Sri Lanka as provided for in the four pillars of cooperation and discussed arrangements for Rajapaksa’s upcoming visit to New Delhi.
The four-pillar package envisions India supporting Sri Lanka in terms of food and health security, energy security, currency exchange to address the balance of payments problem and facilitating Indian investment in different sectors. The billion dollar line of credit will enable Sri Lanka to make emergency purchases of food, medicine and other essential items.
Courtesy of the Hindustan Times