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Indian Foreign Secretary assures continued support

  • Top Indian delegation meets Prez, PM, CBSL Governor, Treasury Secy.  
  • India’s Finance Minister assures fullest support to Ambassador Moragoda

Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra assured Sri Lanka of India’s continued support to Sri Lanka at his meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (23), as a delegation from India undertook a one-day visit to the country. 

“Sri Lanka has already received essential food items, fuel, medicine, and fertiliser under the Indian credit line facility. The Indian delegation stated that the Government of India and the political authorities are committed to providing continued support to Sri Lanka,” the President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement issued in this regard yesterday. 

Furthermore, the PMD said that the delegation also expressed confidence that the country would recover soon by overcoming existing challenges.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry, in a statement issued in this regard yesterday, said that the visit is related to bilateral assistance. 

Kwatra has also met with Prime Minister (PM) Ranil Wickremesinghe, accompanied by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Finance Ministry and Treasury Secretary M. Siriwardana, Senior Advisor on Economic Matters Dr. R. Samaratunga, and Secretary to the Premier Saman Ekanayake. 

Indian External Affairs Ministry Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi Tweeted that in his meeting with the President, Kwatra had underlined that India stands ready to help Sri Lanka in quick economic recovery through promoting investments, connectivity, and strengthening economic linkages. 

“He reiterated Sri Lanka’s centrality to India’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy,” he added. 

Indian assistance to Sri Lanka for 2022 currently stands at over $ 3.5 billion, in the form of credit lines for the import of essential goods, currency swaps and loan deferments. For fuel imports alone, India has extended $ 700 million for a credit line. Sri Lanka currently awaits official confirmation to receive another $ 500 million credit line for the import of fuel. 

Kwatra was accompanied by Ministry of Finance of India Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth, Government of India Chief Economic Advisor Dr. V. Anantha Nageswaran, and Ministry of External Affairs of India Indian Ocean Region Joint Secretary Kartik Pande. 

The delegation left the island yesterday evening after concluding their official visit.

Meanwhile, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman has assured the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, Milinda Moragoda of her fullest support and co-operation in the process of economic recovery in Sri Lanka.

The Indian Finance Minister gave this assurance when High Commissioner Moragoda called on her recently at the Ministry of Finance in New Delhi, according to a press release by the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi.

This was the latest of a series of meetings High Commissioner Moragoda has had with Minister Sitharaman on Indian economic cooperation and assistance to Sri Lanka in the context of the present crisis. He had last met her on 27 May.

High Commissioner Moragoda once again thanked Minister Sitharaman for the continuation of assistance that India is extending to Sri Lanka, and particularly for expeditiously arranging a separate line of credit of USD 55 million, granted on 10 June to import 65,000 MT of urea required for the present cultivation season in Sri Lanka.

In response, Minister Sitharaman assured High Commissioner Moragoda of her fullest co-operation in the economic recovery process in Sri Lanka, while expressing hope that Sri Lanka would recover very soon given the resilience of her people.  

Earlier in the day, High Commissioner Moragoda had also met with the External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S. Jaishankar to discuss the way forward with regard to Indian assistance in stabilising and recovering the ailing Sri Lankan economy.