(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Sri Lanka has signed a US$1 billion credit line with India on Thursday (Mar 17) for supply of essential commodities to alleviate the shortages of essential items, including fuel, food and medicine.
Following discussions with visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa, India’s Ministry of Finance announced that an agreement was signed between State Bank of India (SBI) and Government of Sri Lanka for $1 billion credit facility for procurement of food, medicine and other essential items to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa met with the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar in New Delhi today and discussed wide ranging issues of mutual interest and economic cooperation, the Finance Ministry said in a tweet.
“Neighborhood first. India stands with Sri Lanka. US$ 1 billion credit line signed for supply of essential commodities. Key element of the package of support extended by India,” Minister of external Affairs Jaishankar tweeted.
During discussions with the visiting Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that India would continue to stand with the friendly people of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is currently facing an unprecedented shortages of essential items, including fuel, gas, food, medicine and dollars. Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen 70 percent in the past two years to about US$2.31 billion, leaving it struggling to pay for imports, according to Reuters.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addressing the nation yesterday said he will seek the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to find solutions to the inconveniences that the people are experiencing and alleviate many sufferings due to the shortages of essential items and increase in prices.