On 09 March 2023, the Minister of Education of Sri Lanka Hon. Dr. Susil Premajayantha and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka H.E. Gopal Baglay formally dispatched a consignment of textbooks printed with Indian support at the State Printing Corporation (SPC) for use in various schools across Sri Lanka. The State Minister of Education Hon. A. Arvind Kumar, senior officials of the Ministry including Secretary to the Ministry of Education Mr. Nihal Ranasinghe and officials from the SPC attended the event.
2. A concessional Credit Facility of USD 1 billion was extended to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Government of India in March 2022 for supply of essential items including food, fuel, medicines, industrial raw materials etc. Out of this Facility, over USD 10 million has been used by SPC and private importers to procure printing paper and material from India. This is being used to print 45% of textbooks required by 4 million young students of Sri Lanka for the academic year 2023.
3. Speaking on the occasion, High Commissioner stressed that India’s support for text books is an investment in Sri Lanka’s future and will contribute to bright future of its young students. Hon. Minister of Education appreciated India’s support to Sri Lanka in the last one year and timely assistance through the Indian Line of Credit to import paper for printing textbooks for school children. The State Minister of Education appreciated India’s helping hand to the people of Sri Lanka in these difficult times. The dignitaries also undertook a tour of SPC’s facilities and were briefed by the officials on its operations.
4. India and Sri Lanka enjoy a multi-faceted and multi-sectoral partnership. In line with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, Government of India’s assistance to the people of Sri Lanka is extended in various forms, including through concessional Credit Facility and Lines of Credit. Till date, Lines of Credit worth over US$ 4 billion have been extended to Sri Lanka in diverse sectors including supply of essential items, petroleum, fertilizers, etc. development of railways, infrastructure, defence sector and renewable energy etc.
***Colombo11 March 2023