Lankan envoy meets Sitharaman; raises need for bridge financing
In the meeting, Moragoda reiterated that Sri Lanka would require "bridging finance" until the economic adjustment programme with the IMF could be negotiated and finalised.
NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda on Friday met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and explored the possibility of India increasing its financial assistance to the island nation to help it deal with its severe economic crisis.
In the meeting, Moragoda reiterated that Sri Lanka would require "bridging finance" until the economic adjustment programme with the IMF could be negotiated and finalised, according to the Sri Lankan High Commission.
"In this context, the minister and the High Commissioner explored the possibility of increasing and restructuring the assistance provided by India in the form of credits for essential commodities and fuel as well as the balance of payment support," it said in a statement.
It said the high commissioner and the Indian finance minister evaluated the status of ongoing economic cooperation and discuss the way forward.
"High Commissioner Moragoda thanked Minister Sitharaman for the continuation of assistance that India is extending to Sri Lanka in the form of credits for essential commodities and fuel, and also for the balance of payment support," the mission said.
"He particularly appreciated her taking up the case of Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the IMF Spring Meetings in April in Washington DC, with the IMF, other multilateral institutions and bilateral development partners," it said.
Moragoda briefed Sitharaman on the present developments in Sri Lanka.
The meeting took place in the midst of widespread protests in Sri Lanka over the severe economic crisis.