Basil arrives in New Delhi; to meet top Indian ministers

Basil arrives in New Delhi; to meet top Indian ministers

December 1, 2021   04:20 pm

Sri Lanka’s finance minister Basil Rajapaksa is scheduled to meet top Indian ministers on Wednesday as the two countries look at increasing collaboration, Indian media reported.

Basil Rajapaksa had arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday. 

This is his first official visit abroad since his appointment as finance minister in July this year, in the middle of what was described as an “unprecedented” economic crisis in Sri Lanka, including a falling rupee, soaring living costs, and growing fear of food shortages next year.

According to the media reports, the Minister could seek crucial economic assistance from India in the form of investments and increased tourist exchanges.

In New Delhi, Basil Rajapaksa will meet finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar. He is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior ministers over the next two days.

Since last year, the Sri Lankan government has made at least one request for a $1.1 billion currency swap. New Delhi so far has not made it clear whether it will accede to the Sri Lankan request, the report said.

Ahead of Basil Rajapaksa’s visit, Sri Lankan high commissioner Milinda Moragoda met Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday and “explored avenues of further augmenting defence and security cooperation with India,” an official statement said.

--Agencies

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