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Sri Lanka hopes India will grant an additional line of credit to help them with fuel supplies

External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar on Saturday chaired a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting to brief members about India’s support for the island nation.

Published: 18th June 2022 08:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2022 08:33 PM   |  A+A-

People wait in a long queues to buy fuel for their vehicles at a filling station in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, June 11, 2022. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka is reeling through its worst financial crisis, since 1948, at present total foreign debt stands at $51billion. Amongst the countries who have stood by them in their hour of crisis is India as they have extended humanitarian aid which included food and medicines and also supported them with a $3.5 billion line of credit (LoC) that has enabled them to buy fuel amongst other things.

The final shipment from India’s LoC reached Colombo on Thursday and the island nation is in talks with India to give an additional LoC of $500 million which will enable them to buy fuel for the next four months.

As demand is far exceeding supply, Sri Lanka has declared Friday as an additional holiday for the weekend in a bid to curtail the sale of fuel which often is in short supply and all fuel stations have serpentine queues.

The nearly bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026.Sri Lanka's total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar on Saturday chaired a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting to brief members about India’s support for the island nation.

"I chaired a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting on the situation in Sri Lanka. There was unanimous support on the need to stand with our neighbour in this difficult time,’’ said External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar.

The meeting was attended by three Ministers of State for External Affairs, namely V Muraleedharan, Meenakshi Lekhi and Rajkumar Rajan Singh.Opposition leaders such as Shiv Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi and DMK's Tiruchi Siva, among others, attended the meeting.



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