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Sri Lanka to use $70m from Indian line of credit to import food

The Sri Lankan government had given approval to use an additional $70 million from India’s $1 billion line of credit during the current crisis to import essential food items.

Sri Lankan Trade Minister Nalin Fernando said this would come on top of the $180 million worth of food products already imported from India under the same facility.

“Once we receive these items, we will need food for at least another two months. In addition, we have been granted permission to use an additional $70 million from the same credit facility to import food in the near future,” said Fernando, quoted. by Daily Mirror.

A day earlier, India provided a humanitarian consignment worth over SLR 3 billion to Sri Lanka, which is facing the worst economic crisis since its independence.

According to the Indian High Commission in Colombo, the shipment includes rice, powdered milk and essential medicines.

“From the people of #India to the people of #SriLanka!!! The High Commissioner, Honorable Ministers @Keheliya_R, Nalin Fernando, MPs, various dignitaries and officials today welcomed a large humanitarian shipment worth of over 3 billion SLR of #Tuticorn The 15,000 ton shipment consists of rice, powdered milk and essential medicines,” the High Commission said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the high-level Indian delegation led by Foreign Minister Vinay Kwatra visited Sri Lanka and underlined that the recent economic, financial and humanitarian assistance of more than $3.5 billion to island nation was guided by New Delhi’s ‘neighborhood first’ policy. .

The delegation consisting of Ajay Seth, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, V Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Adviser and Kartik Pande, Joint Secretary, Indian Ocean Region, Ministry of External Affairs, was in Colombo on Thursday.

The delegation held talks with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during the visit. The talks between the two parties were held in a frank, cordial and constructive manner, the High Commission of India
Colombo said in a statement. “The Indian delegation stressed that the unprecedented recent economic, financial and humanitarian assistance of over $3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka was guided by the policy of ‘neighborhood first’ and security and growth. for all in the region (SAGAR) vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,” he said in a statement.

The two sides had a productive exchange of views on the current economic situation in Sri Lanka as well as India’s continued support.

As part of its Neighborhood First Policy, India was among the first countries to extend its aid to Sri Lanka to alleviate the unprecedented economic crisis.

New Delhi has extended a $1 billion concessional loan to Sri Lanka for the provision of food, fuel, medicine and other essentials.

In addition, multisectoral agencies supported by the United Nations are also responding to the most urgent needs arising from the recent crisis.