Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda in New Delhi and discussed the way forward to cope with the economic crisis in the island nation. Taking to Twitter, the Sri Lankan Embassy in India wrote, “Following his meeting in mid-April, High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda again met with the Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman today (27) to evaluate the status of ongoing economic cooperation and to discuss the way forward.”
The 37th Board Meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation was also held on Friday in New Delhi under the co-chairmanship of Moragoda and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay. Sri Lanka is now facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It left the country unable to buy enough fuel, with people facing an acute scarcity of food and basic necessities, fuel, and gas. In February, New Delhi provided a short-term loan of USD 500 million to Colombo for the purchase of petroleum products through the Ministry of Energy and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka.
India in November 2021 gave 100 tonnes of nano nitrogen liquid fertilisers to Sri Lanka as their government stopped the import of chemical fertilisers. The total fuel delivered to the people of Sri Lanka, over the last 50 days, amounts to nearly 200,000 MT, including a consignment of 40,000 MT, by Indian Oil Corporation, outside the line of credit facility, in February 2022. Energy Minister Gamini Lokuge thanked the Government of India for the fuel consignments.
India announced another USD 1 billion as a credit line to Sri Lanka to help shore up the sinking economy of the island nation. New Delhi also provided the stock of 11,000 MT of rice to Colombo.