Sri Lanka seeks $1.1 billion currency swap facility from India

Sri Lanka appealed to India to extend $ 1.1 billion in urgent financing support to ease pressures related to foreign currency reserves — seen as a fallout of the covid-19 pandemic devastating the tourism industry in the country. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa put forth the request during a telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday,  a statement from President’s Office said. “If the Government of India could provide $ 1.1 billion special SWAP facility to top up $ 400 million under SAARC Facility, it would enormously help Sri Lanka in dealing with our foreign exchange issues,” President Rajapaksa  said. President Rajapaksa also sought the intervention of PM Modi to revive some of the key projects as Sri Lanka strives to restore the economy. He asked PM Modi to “direct those responsible from India’s side to expedite construction of the East Terminal of the Colombo Port as early as possible as it will be a significant boost to our economic landscape”. “I am trying to promote value added industrial and agricultural activities,” explained President, “and will be happy if you could encourage Indian investors to start such investments, including Indian companies already in Sri Lanka to increase domestic value addition in the context of COVID-19 economic priorities.” Prime minister Modi on his part assured President Rajapaksa that he was personally committed to help Sri Lanka. “We are ready to help under terms that are favorable to Sri Lanka.”  

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