Fuel stations out of petrol and diesel, shortage of medicines at pharmacies, and food vanishing from markets as essentials hit skyhigh prices. These were ominous scenes in Sri Lanka, which erupted into violent protests after excessive external debt and corruption pushed it towards a default.
Bogged down by a $51 billion debt, Sri Lanka was helped back to its feet thanks to aid from countries including India, which provided almost $4 billion in assistance.
Seeking additional credit
After securing another $3 billion bailout package from the international monetary fund (IMF), Sri Lanka is reportedly seeking another $1 billion from India.
The neighbouring island nation is hoping for India to provide temporary credit for buying essentials such as medicines and food.
The Sri Lankan and Indian finance ministries are engaging in negotiations for the funds, which may also pave the way for trade between the countries.
The Sri Lankan government is also trying to convince India to extend the time limit for repayment of $1 billion credit it received last year, by five years.
India providing aid beyond funds
Sri Lanka has already paid an installment of $121 million towards the previous financial help sent by India.
Apart from essentials, India has also been sending fuel and fertilisers, as it builds railways, infrastructure and renewable energy.
Among these, the Colombo Port and a wind power project are being handled by the Adani Group, and a Sri Lankan minister described them as government-to-government kind of dealings.
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