India extended Line of Credit worth USD 1.85 billion to Sri Lanka in 10 years: Jaishankar

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New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): India has extended 8 Lines of Credit (LOCs) to Sri Lanka amounting to USD 1850.64 million in the past 10 years, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar said on Friday.

“Government of India has extended 08 Lines of Credit (LOCs) to Sri Lanka amounting to USD 1850.64 million in sectors including railways, infrastructure, defence, renewable energy, petroleum and fertilizers in the past 10 years,” EAM Jaishankar said in a written reply to question put by DMK Lok Sabha MP S Ramalingam.

India continues to assist Sri Lanka in its economic development to overcome its economic challenges under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, EAM said in response to the question of short-term and long-term loans granted by India to Sri Lanka.

“Under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the Government is committed to developing friendly and mutually beneficial relations with all its neighbours. In line with this policy, India continues to assist Sri Lanka in its economic development as also support it in overcoming its economic challenges,” he said.

“In January 2022, India extended a USD 400 million currency swap to Sri Lanka under the SAARC Framework and deferred successive Asian Clearing Union (A.C.U.) settlements till July 6, 2022. A Line of Credit of US$ 500 million was extended to Sri Lanka for importing fuel from India,” the minister added.

Jaishankar informed that India has extended a credit facility of US$ 1 billion for the procurement of food, medicines and other essential items from India.

The minister further explained how humanitarian assistance was also provided to Sri Lanka by gifting essential medicines worth about INR 6 crores, 15,000 litres of kerosene oil and USD 55 million LoC for procurement of Urea fertilizer. “Government of Tamil Nadu has contributed rice, milk powder and medicines worth USD 16 million, as part of the larger Indian assistance effort,” Jaishankar said.

“Development assistance under Lines of Credit (LoCs) is extended in accordance with the Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) guidelines of the Government of India. In accordance with these guidelines, the terms of these soft loans are transparent, with low rate of interest, a moratorium in principal repayment, long repayment period and in-built flexibility,” he wrote.

On Thursday, India reiterated its stance to stand by the people of Sri Lanka at the time of crisis, saying that India has been at forefront of extending economic assistance to Sri Lanka and will continue to do so.

“India has been at forefront of extending economic assistance to Sri Lanka as per what they require and we are one of the countries that have provided the maximum amount of assistance at the time of need. We will continue to stand by the people of Sri Lanka in whatever manner we can,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a media briefing. (ANI)

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