PM Modi gives socio-economic gifts to Lanka; offers $318 million support for railways

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who reached Colombo today, made various important and supportive agreements with his Lankan counterpart.

The two nations have decided to set up a Joint Task Force to improve the Indian Ocean economy. India will also provide a fresh line of credit of up to  $318 million for the railways sector which will be used to procure rolling stock, and to restore and upgrade existing railway track.

Apart from this the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have agreed to enter into a Currency Swap Agreement of  $1.5 billion which will help keep the Sri Lankan rupee stable.

Narendra Modi also signed some social deals to improve connectivity, cooperation and tourism between the countries. Schemes like ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival – Electronic Travel Authorization’ will be extended to Sri Lankan citizens. Air India will also start direct flights between New Delhi and Colombo soon. A  Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in youth affairs was also singed ‘ As an important long term investment in our relationship’ Modi said.

The prime minitser also discussed the issue of fishermen with the Sri Lankan President. He said it’s a complex issue concerning livelihood and  humanitarian concerns on both sides and require a long term solution. He added that the two governments can implement the mutually acceptable arrangement between the fishermen`s associations of India and Sri Lanka.