Colombo: India on Tuesday delivered 40,000 metric tonnes of fuel to Sri Lanka to help ease the energy crisis faced by the island nation.
“India, a committed partner and a true friend of Sri Lanka. The High Commissioner (Gopal Baglay) handed over 40,000 MT fuel consignment by Indian Oil Company,” a statement issued by the Indian High Commission here said.
Sri Lanka opted to buy 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel and petrol from India’s oil major Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to meet the urgent energy requirements in the economic crisis worsened by depleted foreign reserves.
The delivery of the fuel by India came amidst the announcement of Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to India in a fortnight to formalise India’s economic relief package for the island nation facing a serious forex crisis.
In January, India announced a USD 900 million loan to Sri Lanka to build up its depleted foreign reserves and for food imports, amid a shortage of almost all essential commodities in the country.
The economic relief package for Sri Lanka provided a lifeline to the island nation which was facing food shortages as the foreign reserves dropped to unprecedented levels, affecting the power supply and availability of fuel.
Earlier this month, an agreement to grant Sri Lanka a credit line of USD 500 million for fuel purchases was sealed which was part of the immediate economic relief package.
On Tuesday, Energy minister Udaya Gammanpila and the Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay were at the Colombo port where the oil tanker Swarna Pushp delivered the consignment.
Following the delivery, the High Commission said the India-Sri Lanka partnership would continue to work towards ensuring energy security in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka experienced shortages of most essentials as imports came to be curbed due to the shortage of foreign currency to pay for imports.
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