Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi this morning.
The two parties discussed bilateral matters and further Indian assistance to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda was also present at the meeting.
It is widely expected that India will clear a further USD 1 billion emergency financial support that New Delhi and Colombo have been negotiating since Minister Rajapaksa’s last visit to New Delhi early in December.
At the time, he held talks with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, where both sides agreed on a “four-pronged” approach to addressing Sri Lanka’s crisis, that included Indian credit lines for import of essentials such as food, medicines and fuel; currency swap to help boost Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves, an “early” modernisation project of the Trincomalee oil tank farm, and Colombo’s commitment to facilitate Indian investments in Sri Lanka.
Since January last year, India has extended USD 1.4 billion support, by way of a USD 400 million RBI currency swap, a USD 500 million loan deferment, and a USD 500 million Line of Credit for fuel imports.
The additional USD 1 billion, if cleared, will bring some relief to Sri Lanka, amid its current fuel and gas shortages, and soaring prices of food and other basic items.
Minister Rajapaksa is scheduled to meet S Jaishankar for a one-on-one interaction later today.