The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, at 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 railway sector in Sri Lanka through its EXIM bank amounting to approximately USD 966 million. These 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 signing of Agreement pertaining to the above loan took place today, at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.
The Loan Agreement was signed by Dr. R H S. Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass media and David Rasquinha,Managing Director of the Export- Import Bank of India in the presence of Nihal Somaweera, Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Arindam Bagchi, Deputy High Commissioner of India and Priyantha Rathnayake, Director General, Department of External Resources and distinguish officials of both Governments.
The Sri Lanka Railways under the supervision of Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation will implement the projects.
The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation has identified that the improving passenger transportation facilities is an urgent requirement to attract more passengers towards railway transportation which is efficient and cost effective. Further, reducing congestions in railways by 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 over 40 years since 1973.During the last 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. (Colombo Gazette)