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As Economic Crisis Spirals In Sri Lanka, Rations From India Reach Colombo

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 11th April, 2022 07:09:33 PM
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As Economic Crisis Spirals In Sri Lanka, Rations From India Reach Colombo
Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis with food and fuel scarcity affecting the population.

As vegetables and daily ration items sent by New Delhi reached Colombo, India again stepped forward to help Sri Lanka amid the worst economic crisis in the island nation.

As New Delhi is providing financial assistance to Colombo, India has already supplied over 270,000 MT of fuel to Sri Lanka till now and has earlier announced another USD 1 billion as a credit to Sri Lanka to help shore up the sinking economy of the island nation.

The USD 1 billion Line of Credit to Colombo will help in keeping their food prices and fuel costs under check.

Last month, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him 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 has conveyed to Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who has visited India twice in recent months, that the latter would always stand with the island nation as it occupies a central role in New Delhi's "neighborhood first policy."

Since January this year, support from India to Sri Lanka exceeds USD 2.5 billion. In February, New Delhi provided a short-term loan of USD 500 million to Colombo for the purchase of petroleum products through the Ministry of Energy and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka. In November 2021, India had given 100 tonnes of nano nitrogen liquid fertilizers to Sri Lanka as their government stopped the import of chemical fertilizers.

Besides, the Reserve Bank of India has extended a currency swap of USD 400 million and deferred payments owed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the Asian Clearance Union worth several hundred million dollars.

Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis with food and fuel scarcity affecting a large number of the people in the island nation. The economy has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the crush of tourism.

Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange shortage, which has, incidentally, affected its capacity to import food and fuel, leading to the power cuts in the country. The shortage of essential goods forced Sri Lanka to seek assistance from friendly countries. (ANI)