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India, Sri Lanka agree to four-pronged approach for economic cooperation

Sri Lanka Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa was in New Delhi on a two-day visit

basil-lanka Sri Lanka Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa during a meeting with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar

India and Sri Lanka have agreed to a four-pronged approach to discuss initiatives to help Sri Lanka bail out of its economic crisis.

Sri Lanka Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa was in New Delhi on a two-day visit to call on Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

According to a media release by the Sri Lankan information department, during the two-day visit, Basil Rajapaksa had two rounds of joint discussions with Sitharaman and Jaishankar. He also met with Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Hardeep Singh Puri and the National Security Advisor Ajit Dova.

“The Sri Lankan finance minister's discussions with his Indian counterpart and the external affairs minister focussed on a whole gamut of issues of mutual importance pertaining to the bilateral relationship with particular attention on the economic cooperation aspect. Both sides expressed satisfaction over the evolving trajectory of the bilateral relationship. During the discussions, they identified ways and means through which the existing bilateral economic relationship between the two countries could be further broadened and deepened.”

During the meeting of finance ministers, the two countries agreed to a four-pronged approach to work together on food and health security package, and energy security package to help ease out Sri Lanka from the economic crisis.

Rajapaksa briefed Sitaraman and Jaishankar on the economic situation in Sri Lanka and the post-COVID challenges faced by Sri Lanka.

The four-pronged approach

The discussion included extending a line of credit to Sri Lanka to cover the import of food, medicines and other essential items from India, called  food and health security package on an urgent basis. An energy security package that would include a line of credit to cover import of fuel from India, an early modernisation of Trincomalee Tank Farm, offer of a currency swap to help Sri Lanka address the current balance of payment issues were also discussed.

Besides, facilitating Indian investments in different sectors in Sri Lanka that would contribute to growth and expand employment was taken up for discussion.

“It was agreed that modalities to realize these objectives would be finalised early, within a mutually agreed timeline. Minister Rajapaksa and ministers Sitharaman and Jaishankar agreed to open direct lines of communication and to be in direct and regular contact with each other in order to coordinate the above initiative,” said the media release.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar will meet Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Sunday when they inaugurate the Indian Ocean Region conference organised by the India Foundation in Abu Dhabi.


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