Sri Lanka uses part of Indian aid to buy textbooks for 4 million students


Sri Lanka has used over $10 million of India’s $1 billion grant to print nearly half of the textbooks for its four million young students, India’s High Commissioner in Colmbo said on Saturday.

India last year announced a $1 billion credit line to Sri Lanka as part of its financial assistance to help the country deal with its economic crisis.

After an agreement was signed to extend the line of credit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) spokesman Arindam Bagchi said India had always stood by the people of Sri Lanka and would continue to provide all possible assistance to the country.

“A US$1 billion concessional credit facility was granted to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Government of India in March 2022 for the supply of essential commodities such as food, fuel, medicines and industrial raw materials. From this facility, over US$10 million has been used by SPC and private importers to source printing paper and supplies from India,” the High Commission said.

“This will be used to print 45 percent of the textbooks needed by 4 million young Sri Lankan students for the 2023 academic year,” it said in a statement.

India and Sri Lanka enjoy a multifaceted and multisectoral partnership. In accordance with its Neighborhood First policy, India’s assistance to the people of Sri Lanka is provided in a variety of forms, including through concessional credit facilities and lines of credit.

“To date, over $4 billion worth of credit lines have been granted to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was hit by an unprecedented financial crisis in 2022, which also sparked political unrest in the island nation, initially leading to the overthrow of the all-powerful Rajapaksa family.

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The Sri Lankan government declared a default on over US$51 billion in foreign loans in May – a first in the country’s history.

India extended a much-needed lifeline to a needy neighbor and provided nearly $4 billion in financial assistance to Colombo during the year.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated feed.)

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