Sri Lanka seeks another $500m credit from India for fuel: report


Sri Lanka crisis: Line of credit adds to $500m previously granted, report says (File)


Amid the continuing economic crisis in the country, Sri Lanka is in talks with India for another $500 million line of credit for fuel imports.

This issue was discussed when the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, Milinda Moragoda, met with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.

The line of credit is in addition to the $500 million previously granted, according to the report.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. The recession is being attributed to currency shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This has left the country unable to buy enough fuel, with people facing acute shortages of food and basic necessities, fuel and gas.

According to the Sri Lankan daily, India has offered another $1 billion line of credit for essential imports. However, $200 million of that amount was used for fuel imports, the report added.

The island nation has exhausted nearly $700 million of Indian credit for diesel and petrol so far, the Daily Mirror reported.

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On Friday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe praised India for its support amid the lingering economic crisis and expressed a desire to further strengthen ties between the two nations.

“I have expressed our country’s appreciation for the support India has provided during this difficult time. I look forward to further strengthening the ties between our nations,” the Sri Lankan Prime Minister tweeted.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s appreciation of India came the same day when his neighbor donated 25 tonnes of drugs and other medical supplies worth nearly 260 million Sri Lankan rupees.

The medical consignment was given in response to requests from various organizations and hospitals spread across different parts of the country.

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The Indian High Commission said that these humanitarian supplies come as an extension of the Government of India’s continued support to the people of Sri Lanka in multiple forms such as financial assistance, foreign currency support, supply of materials, etc

“These efforts demonstrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Neighborhood First policy, which places people-to-people engagement at the center of his concerns,” the high commission said in a statement.

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