India Working on Urgent Economic Package to Help Lanka

India is working out a package on an urgent basis to assist Sri Lanka, following finance minister Basil Rajapaksa's New Delhi visit that focussed on measures to tide over an economic crisis that the island nation is facing.

India is expected to extend a food & health security package to Sri Lanka on an urgent basis, along with an energy security package and currency swap, and also push Indian investments. It was agreed during Rajapaksa’s visit that the procedures to realise these objectives would be finalised early, within a mutually agreed time. The food and health security package would envisage the extension of a line of credit to cover the import of food, medicines and other essential items from India. The energy package would also comprise a line of credit to cover import of fuel from India, and an early modernisation of Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm. There is also an offer of a currency swap to help Sri Lanka address its current balance of payment issues.

It was also decided to facilitate Indian investments in different sectors in Sri Lanka that would contribute to growth and expand employment. Rajapaksa and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and foreign minister S Jaishankar agreed to open direct lines of communication and to be in direct and regular contact with each other in order to coordinate delivery of the package.

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