India ready to address Sri Lanka’s concerns on economy pact

Updated - September 02, 2016 12:23 pm IST

Published - February 06, 2016 01:24 am IST - COLOMBO:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo on Friday. Ms. Swaraj is in the island nation on a two-day visit

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo on Friday. Ms. Swaraj is in the island nation on a two-day visit

India has come forward to host a workshop later this month in Colombo on the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement to address concerns on the side of Sri Lanka.

This was one of the outcomes of the ninth session of the Joint Commission here on Friday. Foreign Ministers of India and Sri Lanka, Sushma Swaraj and Mangala Samaraweera, were present.

The workshop would also address issues concerning regulations and procedures, Renu Pall, Joint Secretary (Indian Ocean Region) in the Ministry of External Affairs of the Indian government, told reporters after the meeting of the Commission.

The initiative of India was in response to criticism from certain quarters that the proposed agreement would take away jobs of Sri Lankan professionals.

In early December, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Sri Lankan Parliament of his government’s reservations about allowing Indian professionals into Sri Lanka under any new agreement. Later that month, Commerce Secretaries of the governments of the two countries met in New Delhi and held preliminary discussions.

Sampoor project

Ms Pall announced that the 500-MW Sampoor thermal power project, a joint venture involving Sri Lanka and India, was granted environmental clearance a few days ago.

Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, Anura Wijayapala, who also heads the Trincomalee Power Company Limited [a special purpose vehicle for the project], told THE HINDU that as per the revised schedule, it had been planned to get the project commissioned by the middle of 2020. Pointing out that Sri Lanka was importing coal from Indonesia, South Africa and Russia, Mr Wijayapala said any one of the sources would be tapped for the Sampoor project too.

On the rehabilitation of the Kankesanthurai (KKS) harbour in the conflict-devastated Northern Province, Ms Pall said four phases had been completed [by the Indian authorities] and the RITES would send a delegation to Sri Lanka very soon.

The issue of setting up a special economic zone in Trincomalee for India was also raised, she said, adding that the reconstitution of CEOs’ forum, a mechanism on trade and investment linkages between the two countries, was underway.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.