Sri Lankan Finance Minister Praises India’s Support During Economic Crisis

Mumbai witnessed an expression of gratitude from Sri Lankan Finance Minister Shehan Semansinghe, who acknowledged India’s crucial role in aiding Sri Lanka during challenging times. Addressing the Mumbai audience on Friday, Semansinghe underscored India’s significant contributions to Sri Lanka’s recovery and stabilization process, with optimism about its role in future economic growth.

Semansinghe commended India’s pivotal assistance during Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, stating, “India played a major role in Sri Lanka’s recovery process and stabilization process. And I’m sure will play a major role in the growth of the economy, too. So we are thankful to the government of India as well as to the Indian people because India stepped in during the most crucial period of economic crisis. And I’m sure Indians also could be happy that Sri Lanka has recovered.”

He credited India for its support in achieving a positive rating from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), signifying Sri Lanka’s resurgence to the global community. He highlighted that India’s intervention transformed the economic landscape after a challenging three months marked by shortages in essentials like food, fuel, and electricity.

Elaborating on the recent developments, Semansinghe noted the introduction of new anti-corruption laws, the establishment of a budget office of parliament, and a forthcoming central bank act to ensure its autonomy. Emphasizing the potential of the tourism sector, he mentioned that although tourism is growing, Sri Lanka’s full potential in this domain remains untapped, with India being a top priority for collaboration.

Speaking on investment sectors, Semansinghe emphasized the significance of energy and renewable energy, reflecting discussions between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Vikramshinghe. He asserted Sri Lanka’s openness to the world and its ability to manage debt effectively.

Regarding import restrictions, Semansinghe revealed a relaxation plan, affirming, “Now as we are establishing, and our reserves are getting better we are relaxing our import restrictions and we expect that by the end of September, all the import restrictions will be done away except the automobile.”

India’s substantial assistance to Sri Lanka includes aid worth USD 3.9 billion in the face of economic challenges, supply agreements for petroleum products, and credit lines for essential goods, fuel, and fertilizers. This support aligns with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, underscoring the country’s commitment to the security and development of its neighbors.

In a testament to bilateral cooperation, India’s contributions have not only aided Sri Lanka in overcoming immediate crises but have also laid the groundwork for sustained economic progress and regional stability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *