India, Sri Lanka finalize four-point package on economic cooperation
Sri Lankan Finance Minister Rajapaksa briefed the Indian side of the economic situation in Sri Lanka
India and Sri Lanka finalized a four-point package for economic cooperation that includes an extension of a line of credit to Sri Lanka cover and offer of a currency swap arrangement.
This was decided during Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister, Basil Rajapaksa’s two-day official visit to India on December 1-2.
A statement by the Sri Lankan High Commission on Thursday said that the Sri Lankan Minister had two rounds of joint discussions with his Indian counterpart Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar.
Rajapaksa also met with the Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri and the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
The Sri Lankan Finance Minister’s discussions with his Indian counterpart and the EAM Jaishankar focussed on a whole gamut of issues of mutual importance pertaining to the bilateral relationship with particular attention on the economic cooperation aspect, the statement informed.
Both sides expressed satisfaction over the evolving trajectory of the bilateral relationship, it noted.
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, the statement mentioned.
Finance Minister Rajapaksa briefed the Indian side of the economic situation in Sri Lanka and his Government’s approach to addressing post-covid challenges, it said.
According to the statement, the Indian Ministers expressed India’s solidarity with Sri Lanka at this juncture.
They reiterated that India has always stood by Sri Lanka and in the current situation would be guided by its Neighbourhood First policy, it added.
The two sides discussed four pillars for short and medium-term cooperation in this regard:
First, food and health security package on an urgent basis that would envisage an extension of a line of credit to cover the import of food, medicines and other essential items from India to Sri Lanka.
Second, an energy security package that would include a line of credit to cover import of fuel from India, and an early modernization of Trincomalee Tank Farm.
Third, offering of a Currency Swap to help Sri Lanka address the current balance of payment issues.
Four, facilitating Indian investments in different sectors in Sri Lanka that would contribute to growth and expand employment. This will build on recent trends in that respect.
It was agreed that modalities to realize these objectives would be finalized early, the statement said.