Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has embarked on a three day official visit to Sri Lanka. The visit will feature a series of crucial engagements and diplomatic exchanges. During this visit, Mrs Sitharaman will address the NAAM 200 organized by Government of Sri Lanka to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of India-origin Tamils to Sri Lanka. The event will be graced by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
Mrs Sitharaman will also address the India Sri Lanka Business Summit at Colombo on the theme ‘Enhancing Connectivity: Partnering for Prosperity. The summit is likely to have discussions on fostering bilateral economic cooperation and trade. She is also scheduled to hold discussions with the Sri Lankan leadership, reinforcing the strategic importance of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. As a step towards achieving sustainability in power sector, the Finance minister will oversee signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Solar Electrification of Religious Places in Sri Lanka. Under the MoU, India will allocate 82.4 crore rupees for the project.
In addition, Mrs Sitharaman will also pay obeisance at prominent cultural and religious landmarks, including the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Thirukoneswaram Temple, and Kandaswamy Temple. The minister will also inaugurate branches of State Bank of India at Trincomalee and Jaffna. It is notable that India had provided an unprecedented humanitarian assistance of 4 billion US dollars during Sri Lanka’s worst ever economic crisis last year. India was also the first creditor nation to have given financing assurances in line with IMF standards towards restructuring the Sri Lankan debt.