Colombo: As vegetables and daily rations shipped by New Delhi reached Colombo, India again stepped in to help Sri Lanka amid the island nation’s worst economic crisis. As New Delhi is providing financial assistance to Colombo, India has so far supplied more than 270,000 metric tonnes of fuel to Sri Lanka and has earlier announced a further USD 1 billion loan to Sri Lanka to help the island nation. To help shore up a sinking economy. The US$ 1 billion line of credit for Colombo will help keep their food prices and fuel costs under control.

Last month, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him “about the initiatives being taken by the two countries to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, and the support extended by India to Sri Lanka’s economy”. thanked for it.” Prime Minister Modi has conveyed to Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who has visited India twice in recent months, that Rajapaksa will always stand by the island nation as it is a central figure in New Delhi’s “neighborhood first policy”. holds a role.

Since January this year, support from India to Sri Lanka has exceeded USD 2.5 billion. In February, New Delhi provided a USD 500 million short-term loan to Colombo on behalf of the Sri Lankan government through the Ministry of Energy and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for the purchase of petroleum products. In November 2021, India delivered 100 tonnes of nano nitrogen liquid fertilizers to Sri Lanka as their government stopped imports of chemical fertilisers. In addition, the Reserve Bank of India has extended currency swaps and deferred payments of USD 400 million by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka worth several hundred million dollars under the Asian Clearance Union.

Sri Lanka is battling a severe economic crisis with food and fuel shortages affecting a large number of people in the island nation. The economy has taken a hit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has boosted tourism. Sri Lanka is also facing a foreign exchange crunch, which, incidentally, has affected its ability to import food and fuel, leading to power cuts in the country. The shortage of essential commodities forced Sri Lanka to seek aid from friendly countries.