India’s economic assistance to Sri Lanka which stands at more than USD 3 billion in 2022 has been instrumental in addressing diverse needs of the Government and people of Sri Lanka.
The USD 1 billion Credit Facility for purchase of food, medicines and other essential commodities is already operational and around 16,000 MT of rice supplied under it, ahead of Avurudu, is being distributed through various Sathosa outlets. Commodities to be supplied from India under this concessional credit line are finalized by the Government of Sri Lanka. Government of India facilitates these supplies strictly in accordance with the priorities of the Government of Sri Lanka. As on date, additional consignments of rice and other food supplies, medicines and industrial raw materials, among others, are envisaged under the credit line.
A separate Line of Credit of USD 500 million for the purchase of petroleum products, such as diesel, petrol and aviation fuel, has paved way for the delivery of 9 consignments of different types of fuel. Petrol and diesel supplies have been distributed across the 1300 CEYPETCO fuel sheds, thereby serving people in all the 25 Districts of Sri Lanka. Close to 400,000 MT of fuel have been delivered under this credit line till date and more consignments will arrive soon.
Deferment of dues of about USD 1 billion till March 2022, to be paid by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to the Reserve Bank of India, under the Asian Clearing Union, will assist in strengthening the forex reserves of Sri Lanka. This has been complemented by the currency swap of USD 400 million, which was further extended by three months on 18 April 2022.
Multiple forms of economic assistance is bolstered by other forms of support. A large consignment of drugs and medical supplies which was gifted by India was handed over by High Commissioner Gopal Baglay to Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Minister of Health in Colombo on 29 April 2022. This consignment has since then been delivered to Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya. Multi-pronged assistance provided by India testifies to the importance Government of India attaches to the welfare of the people of Sri Lanka and is guided by the twin principles of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and S.A.G.A.R (Security and Growth for All in the Region).