Crisis-hit Sri Lanka in talks with India for $1.5bn credit

Published March 29, 2022
A vegetable vendor arranges vegetables as he wait for customers at a market in Colombo on March 28. — AFP
A vegetable vendor arranges vegetables as he wait for customers at a market in Colombo on March 28. — AFP

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has sought an additional credit line of $1.5 billion from India to import essentials, the island nation’s central bank governor said on Monday, amid its worst economic crisis in decades.

The country of 22 million people is struggling to pay for essential imports after a 70pc drop in foreign exchange reserves in two years led to a currency devaluation and efforts to seek help from global lenders. Fuel is in short supply, food prices are rocketing and protests have broken out as Sri Lanka’s government prepares for talks with the International Monetary Fund amid concerns over the country’s ability to pay back foreign debt.

The new line is on top of the $1 billion support extended by India to help pay for critical imports when Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa travelled to New Delhi earlier this month. “There is a very close discussion continuing for an additional support of $1.5 billion (with India) by way of oil support as well as other essential goods support of credit terms,” Ajith Nivard Cabraal told an online event.

Cabraal’s comments followed a report that said the crisis-hit country was in talks with India for an additional credit line of $1 billion.

Delhi has indicated it would meet the request for the new line, to be used for importing items such as rice, wheat flour, pul­ses, su­g­ar and medicines, one sou­r­ce briefed on the matter said.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

KP’s ‘power struggle’
Updated 21 Jun, 2024

KP’s ‘power struggle’

Instead of emboldening protesters, CM Gandapur should encourage his provincial subjects to clear their due bills and ensure theft is minimised.
Journalist’s murder
21 Jun, 2024

Journalist’s murder

ANOTHER name has been added to the list of journalists murdered in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Khalil Jibran’s vehicle...
A leaner government?
21 Jun, 2024

A leaner government?

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has reiterated his government’s ‘commitment’ to shutting down ministries...
Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...