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India has committed nearly USD 4 billion to debt-ridden Sri Lanka.Colombo: India on Monday handed over 21,000 tonnes of fertiliser to Sri Lanka under a special support programme which will help farmers in this country and help bolster bilateral cooperation for food security, the second such assistance in recent months to the crisis-hit island nation.”Adding to the fragrance of friendship and cooperation. High Commissioner (Gopal Baglay) formally handed over 21,000 tonnes of fertiliser supplied under India’s special support to the people of Sri Lanka,” the Indian High Commission said in a tweet.This follows 44,000 tonnes supplied last month under Indian support totalling about USD 4bn in 2022,” it said.Adding to the fragrance of friendship and cooperation.High Commissioner formally handed over 21,000 tonnes of fertilizer supplied under 🇮🇳’s special support to the people of 🇱🇰.This follows 44,000 tonnes supplied last month under 🇮🇳n support totalling about USD 4bn in 2022 (1/ pic.twitter.com/gmmu5NCRQA— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) August 22, 2022″The fertiliser will contribute to food security and support the farmers of Sri Lanka. It demonstrates benefits to the people from close ties with #India and mutual trust and goodwill between #India and #lanka,” the mission tweeted.In May, India assured Sri Lanka to immediately supply 65,000 metric tonnes of urea to avoid any disruption to the current Yala cultivation season in Sri Lanka.Yala is the season of paddy cultivation in Sri Lanka that lasts between May and August.President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision last year to ban chemical fertiliser imports in order to turn into a green economy has caused a food shortage with crop losses amounting to 50%.Gotabaya Rajapaksa had admitted his decision to ban chemical fertilisers to go 100% organic was wrong.India has committed nearly USD 4 billion to debt-ridden Sri Lanka in loans, credit lines and credit swaps since January this year. Sri Lanka’s annual fertiliser imports cost USD 400 million.The support from India ranges from economic assistance of close to USD 3.5 billion to help secure Sri Lanka’s food, health, and energy security by supplying essential items like food, medicines, fuel, kerosene and other essentials.Sri Lanka is in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis that has led to severe shortages of fuel and other essentials.The island nation of 22 million also witnessed a significant political churn in recent times following massive mass protests that forced former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign from his post.Meanwhile, a top International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation will visit Colombo during August 24-31 for discussions on finalising a staff-level agreement with the government in the near term.Sri Lanka had begun negotiating a possible bailout package with the IMF in June this year.The talks, however, got stalled due to the political turmoil in the country which saw irate anti-government protesters storming Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence, occupying key government buildings, and torching the private residence of the current president Ranil Wickremesinghe.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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