June 06, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry has signed an agreement with the Indian government to receive a US 318 million dollar line of credit (LOC) for the development of the railway sector in the island.
The agreement comes following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to Sri Lanka in March 2015 where the LOC was first discussed.
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 Sri Lanka Railways.
The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media by Secretary Dr. R H S. Samaratunga, and David Rasquinha, managing director of the Export- Import Bank of India.
Also present was Nihal Somaweera, secretary, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Arindam Bagchi, deputy high commissioner of India, Priyantha Rathnayake, director general, Department of External Resources.
The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation has identified improving passenger transportation facilities as an urgent requirement to attract more passengers towards railway transportation which is cost effective.
Further, reducing congestion in railways by improving rail tracks and signaling systems is also a key requirement to promote passenger and freight transportation.