India on Tuesday said it will continue to extend support to crisis-hit Sri Lanka “by promoting long-term investments” in key economic sectors in the island nation for its early economic recovery and growth.
The embassy in Sri Lanka issued a statement in this regard in the wake of reports that it will not provide further financial support to the island nation that is in the throes of a severe economic crisis (said to be one of the worst in decades). The crisis triggered widespread protests earlier this year forcing Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign as President and Ranil Wickremesinghe to take over as the day-long unrest brought the country to a standstill.
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“We continue to be supportive of Sri Lanka in all possible ways, in particular by promoting long-term investments from India in key economic sectors in Sri Lanka for its early economic recovery and growth,” the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka said in a statement.
It said India has extended bilateral assistance amounting close to $4 billion this year to Sri Lanka. Besides, India has advocated to other bilateral and multilateral partners supporting Sri Lanka expeditiously in its current economic difficulties.
The high commission further said India had ongoing development projects worth about $3.5 billion in Sri Lanka and the country’s citizens will continue to avail of scholarships for higher education and skills training in premier Indian institutions.
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“These aspects of our close and long-standing cooperation with Sri Lanka also contribute to the efforts for addressing Sri Lanka’s current economic difficulties,” it added.
Since the beginning of the year, India has extended financial aid to India, including lines of credit, a currency swap and deferring of loan repayments.
Crisis-hit Sri Lanka has reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of about $2.9 billion, the international lender said in a statement earlier this month – a development expected to help the country stir out of the crisis.
A day ago, Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda expressed his gratitude to India for providing a “strong lifeline” to the island nation and hoped that it will play a crucial role in the economic revival of his country.
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