Development of Sri Lanka’s railway sector : USD 318 m credit line from India

An agreement to provide Indian credit line of USD 318 million for the development of Sri Lanka’s railway sector was signed at the Ministry of Finance in Colombo last week.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his first visit to Sri Lanka in March, 2015 had declared a fresh Line of Credit (LOC) of USD 318 million for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka.

The Government of India has already provided four lines of credit for the development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka through its EXIM bank amounting to approximately USD 966 million.

The credit facilities have been utilized to improve the Southern and Northern railway lines and for the procurement of rolling stocks for the Sri Lanka Railways. The agreement was signed by Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and Managing Director of the Export-Import Bank of India, David Rasquinha.

Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Nihal Somaweera, Deputy High Commissioner of India, Arindam Bagchi, Director General, Department of External Resources, Priyantha Rathnayake and officials of both governments were also present.

The Sri Lanka Railways will implement the projects under the supervision of Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.

The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation has identified that improving passenger transportation facilities is an urgent need to attract more passengers to railway transportation which is efficient and cost effective. Improving rail tracks and signaling systems is also a key requirement to promote passenger and freight transportation.

The Government of India is the major development partner of Sri Lanka in South Asian region since 1973. During the past few years, Indian foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka has expanded exponentially. Presently Indian development assistance mainly focusing on improvement of economic infrastructural facilities, livelihood development, education, healthcare, capacity building and economic renewal of Sri Lanka. 

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