Sri Lankan Finance Minister in India for talks
Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksha is expected to meet his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman this week to discuss USD 1 billion loan that the Indian government agreed to provide and will also share the road map on the utilisation of funds.
India has already given a loan of USD 500 million for fuel purchase and USD 400 million currency swap under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) facility, Policy Research Group reported. Earlier, the Sri Lankan Finance Minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday and thanked PM Modi for the support extended by India to the Sri Lankan economy.
India has stepped up and pledged a whopping USD 2.415 billion to the island nation to help overcome dire financial constraints caused by external debt payments and a lack of US dollars in the country for business.
Basil Rajapaksa called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 17.
He briefed the Prime Minister on initiatives being taken by both countries to increase bilateral economic cooperation, and conveyed his thanks for the support extended by India for the Sri Lankan economy.
PM Modi spoke about the central role that Sri Lanka occupies in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and its S.A.G.A.R (Security and Growth for all in the Region) doctrine. He reiterated that India would continue to stand with the friendly people of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is moving away from China while getting close to India over the failure of Colombo to pay back Chinese loans worth USD 4.5 billion, amidst fears of a "debt trap".
Sri Lankan foreign minister has been asking from China and different countries to help them in their financial crisis.