Finance Ministry Secretary SR Attygalle (left) and State Bank of India Deputy Managing Director Shri Pushkar Jha exchange copies of the signed agreement
- The loan is to be used for the purchase of food, medicine and other essential items
- Establishment of coordination mechanism to keep Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs of India and Minister of Finance of Sri Lanka in contact
Concluding his two-day official visit to New Delhi, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday witnessed the signing of the agreement for a US$1 billion short-term concessional loan facility granted by the Government of India to the Sri Lankan government through the State Bank of India.
The loan facility, which was the key element of the four-pillar economic cooperation agreement reached between India and Sri Lanka during Minister Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi last December, has been extended to the Sri Lankan government. -Lankans for the purchase of foodstuffs, medicines and other essential items.
The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Finance in New Delhi in the presence of Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Indian Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
State Bank of India Managing Director Ashwini Kumar Tewari and Bank Managing Director Vinod Kumar were also present on the occasion.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, SR Attygalle, signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and the Deputy Managing Director, Shri Pushkar Jha, signed on behalf of the State Bank of India.
Ahead of the signing ceremony, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa was jointly hosted by India’s Finance and External Affairs Ministers for bilateral talks at the Ministry of Finance in the Northern Bloc, according to a statement from the High Commission of India. Sri Lanka to New Delhi.
“During the bilateral talks, the two sides agreed to set up a framework for short, medium and long-term economic cooperation between the two countries aimed at addressing Sri Lanka’s current economic challenges.
To this end, the three ministers have agreed to stay in regular contact and a coordination mechanism composed of senior officials from both countries has been set up to maintain regular dialogue,” the statement said.
Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa was accompanied to the meeting by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda, Finance Ministry Secretary SR Attygalle and Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner to India Niluka Kadurugamuwa.