Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting Sri Lanka on a three-day official visit starting Wednesday. The visit will feature a series of crucial engagements and diplomatic exchanges. Sitharaman will be attending ‘NAAM 200‘, the commemoration of the bicentennial anniversary of the arrival of India-origin Tamils in Sri Lanka. The event will be graced by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
Additionally, Sitharaman will address the India Sri Lanka Business Summit in Colombo which will focus on the theme of ‘Enhancing Connectivity: Partnering for Prosperity’. The summit is likely to have discussions on fostering bilateral economic cooperation and trade. She is also scheduled to hold discussions with the Sri Lankan leadership, reinforcing the strategic importance of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
As a step towards achieving sustainability in the power sector, the minister will oversee the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Solar Electrification of Religious Places in Sri Lanka. Under the MoU, India will allocate 82.4 crore rupees for the project.
In addition, Sitharaman will also pay obeisance at prominent cultural and religious landmarks, including the Dalada Maligawa, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Thirukoneswaram Temple, and Kandaswamy Temple.
The minister will also inaugurate branches of the State Bank of India at Trincomalee and Jaffna.
It is notable that India provided unprecedented humanitarian assistance of USD 4 billion during Sri Lanka’s worst-ever economic crisis last year. India was also the first creditor nation to have given financing assurances in line with IMF standards towards restructuring the Sri Lankan debt.