Have sent formal creditor's assurance to IMF for bailout package to Lanka: MEA
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

New Delhi: India has formally sent to the International Monetary Fund its assurance which the global money lender wants from creditors for providing a bailout to Sri Lanka, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday and expressed hope that it helps the island nation “close the deal”.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said this at a media briefing here soon after Minister S Jaishankar arrived in Colombo for a much-anticipated visit to Sri Lanka, where he will meet the cash-strapped country’s top leadership to finalise a debt restructuring plan to help Colombo carve out a path from its worst economic crisis.

Responding to a question on Lanka’s economic issues, Bagchi said, “We would like to be supportive, we have been supportive bilaterally in assistance. There is an important element now of having a sustainable debt framework and structure for Sri Lanka. The IMF is leading that and as part of that they wanted financing assurances from other creditors. We have done that. We have formally sent it to the IMF.”

“We are hopeful that this and the conversations with the IMF would help close this deal and make a change on how the debt is restructured, additional financing comes in and Sri Lanka is able to move to a path of more sustainable fiscal management,” he said.

Sri Lanka, which is trying to secure a much-needed USD 2.9 billion bridge loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), had been trying to get financial assurances from its major creditors — China, Japan and India — which is the requisite for Colombo to get the bailout package.

The IMF bailout has been put on a halt as Sri Lanka pursues talks with creditors to meet the global lender’s condition for the facility.

Talking about Jaishankar’s just-concluded visit to the Maldives, Bagchi said India has a very special relationship with the Maldives.

The minister’s visit was part of the development partnership and also regular consultations were held, he said.

Asked when would Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) would visit India, he said, “We would be very happy to receive the PM of Napal at a suitable convenient date.”

Also read | India extends USD 40 mn for bolstering sports infra in Maldives: EAM Jaishankar

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