Last Updated: March 08, 2023, 18:18 IST
Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Ali Sabry said that the Indian government took bold decisions to help the country to tackle the crisis. (Credits: Twitter/
M U M Ali Sabry)
India extended financial assistance worth around USD 4 billion to Sri Lanka, including lines of credit for purchases of food and fuel last year
Sir Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said India helped Colombo more than any other country, especially when the island nation was facing an unprecedented economic crisis.
“Your real friends are tested when bad time comes. India has stood by us, a friend in need and a friend indeed that they say. So we are very grateful to India, for what it has done for us,” Sabry said during Raisina Dialogue ‘Ideas Pod’.
Sri Lanka’s foreign minister also said that the Indian government took bold decisions to help the country to tackle the crisis last year and came forward to support the country, ANI reported.
India extended financial assistance worth around USD 4 billion to Sri Lanka, including lines of credit for purchases of food and fuel, last year when it was reeling under a severe economic crisis.
He said the Indian government took bold and decisive actions by providing Sri Lanka with about 3.9 billion worth of bilateral credit and accreditation. He further said that the move gave the country a lifeline to fight the battle for another day and probably saved the bankrupt country from oblivion.
He added that India’s intervention was higher than the others countries and New Delhi’s effort in saving Sri Lanka from drowning in the debt came at the very beginning.
New Delhi also provided guarantees to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help the country secure a USD 2.9 billion bailout package, becoming the first of Sri Lanka’s creditors to back the crisis-hit nation’s debt restructuring programme.
“This takes Sri Lanka one step closer to getting a crucial USD 2.9-billion package from the IMF, made contingent on “receiving financing assurances from Sri Lanka’s official creditors and making a good faith effort to reach a collaborative agreement with private creditors,” Sabry added.
The statement comes days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held wide-ranging talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ali Sabry focusing on facilitating Sri Lanka’s economic recovery as well boosting bilateral trade.
Sri Lanka was hit by an unprecedented financial crisis in 2022, the worst since its independence from Britain in 1948, due to a severe paucity of foreign exchange reserves, sparking political turmoil in the country which led to the ouster of the all-powerful Rajapaksa family.
The IMF in September last year approved Sri Lanka a USD 2.9 billion bailout package over 4 years pending Sri Lanka’s ability to restructure its debt with creditors – both bilateral and sovereign bondholders. With assurances from creditors, the USD 2.9 billion facilities could get the IMF board approval in March.
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