Indian and Sri Lankan authorities held talks over two days this week on rescheduling Colombo’s repayment of loans and the country’s $1.1 billion currency swap request to abate the economic impact of COVID-19 crisis.
A spokesperson for the Indian mission in Sri Lanka said, “In the context of the situation concerning the Sri Lankan economy’s external sector, the two countries have been engaged in close and constructive discussions.”
Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay held discussions at the senior level in Colombo on Sri Lanka’s requirements.
The statement said, “In the post-COVID world, India remains committed to partner Sri Lanka closely for the latter’s sustained economic recovery and shared prosperity.”
The matter was raised at the leadership level during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s telephonic conversation with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on May 23.
During the talks, the Sri Lankan President requested the Indian government to provide $ 1.1 billion special SWAP facility to top up US $400 million under SAARC Facility.
The Indian readout said, “Prime Minister assured the Sri Lankan President that India would continue to provide all possible support to Sri Lanka for mitigating the effects of the pandemic.”
President Rajapaksa also sought Indian help to revive key infrastructure projects in the Indian Ocean Island country, including hastening up the construction of the East Terminal of the Colombo Port.