The Indian Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and the Sri Lankan government have signed a $500 million Line of Credit agreement for the purchase of petroleum products. The agreement aims to assist Sri Lanka in dealing with its current fuel shortages, which are the result of one of the island nation’s worst economic meltdowns.
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa took to Twitter and thanked PM Narendra Modi and the Govt of India for the strong bond of friendship shared between the two nations.
External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar also held a virtual meeting with the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa on January 15, 2022. During the meeting, Dr. Jaishankar conveyed that India has always stood with Sri Lanka, and will continue to support Sri Lanka in all possible ways for overcoming the economic and other challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. ”As close friends and maritime neighbours, both India and Sri Lanka stand to gain from closer economic interlinkages,” he added.
India has offered $900 million in aid to neighbouring Sri Lanka, which is in the grip of a severe economic crisis. The $900 million assistance is comprised of a $400 million currency swap and a deferment of more than $500 million due for settlement to the Asian Clearing Union (ACU).
India reaches out to other neighbourhood:
From time to time India has extended its assistance to neighbouring countries through various Infrastructure development projects, credit, or aid. These are a key part of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy.
Nepal: India has been a key development partner of Nepal and has been assisting the Nepal Army (NA) in its modernization by supplying equipment and providing training. Nearly 8 million Nepalese citizens live and work in India.
Recently, India and Nepal signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of a motorable Bridge over the Mahakali River connecting Dharchula (India) with Darchula (Nepal), under Indian grant assistance.
In a humanitarian gesture, India has supplied the fourth batch of assistance consisting of 3 tonnes of essential life-saving medicines to Afghanistan. The medical supplies were handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kabul.
Bhutan: India has been extending economic assistance to Bhutan’s socio-economic development since the early 1960s. PM Modi inaugurated the Ground Earth Station of the South Asia Satellite in Thimphu, which was constructed with the support of ISRO.
To date India has constructed four major hydro-electric projects (HEPs) in Bhutan totaling 2136 MW, including 336 MW Chukha HEP, 60 MW Kuricchu HEP, 1020 MW Tala HEP and 720 MW Mangdechhu HEP.
Myanmar: India’s development assistance portfolio in Myanmar is over the US $1.75 billion. The bulk of this assistance is grant-funded. India under the MoU on Rakhine State Development Program has committed to giving the US $25 million of assistance to Myanmar over a period of 5 years. It also handed over 20,000 bags of relief material to Myanmar’s Rakhine state on 22 January 2020.
Bangladesh: India has extended 3 Lines of Credits (LOC) to Bangladesh in the last 8 years amounting to US$ 8 billion for the development of infrastructure in various sectors including roads, railways, shipping and ports.