Sri Lanka’s Coordination Forum of Development Partners (CFDP) has come in for praise from Deputy Indian High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob, who has offered support for the Treasury initiative to convene a meeting of the CFDP once in six months.
The Indian HC quoted Jacob as having told the gathering that India had steadfastly supported the people of Sri Lanka through the economic crisis as well as at the IMF and expressed hope that Sri Lanka will achieve early economic recovery.
The first meeting held yesterday (04) was chaired by State Minister for Finance Shehan Semasinghe at the Treasury
Explaining the flagship development cooperation partnership between India and Sri Lanka, Deputy High Commissioner Jacob said that the engagement was based on the principles of South-South cooperation between friendly neighbours. The projects are selected in line with the priorities of the Sri Lankan side and pertain to socio-economic sectors like the Indian Housing projects, 1990 Suwaseriya Ambulance, Kandyan Dancing Academy, SL UDI (Unique Digital Identity) project, fishery harbours, hospitals, schools and the like. The total development cooperation portfolio stands at USD 600 million and in the past 8 years, more than 20 projects have been completed.
Elaborating on the challenges faced, Deputy High Commissioner Jacob said that during the past few years import restrictions and capacity issues have impacted the pace of execution. Further, on some occasions the lack of availability of local resources have been an impediment to progress. A unique characteristic of Indian projects are their reliance on Sri Lanka partners for supply of locally available and environmentally sustainable materials. India remains confident of jointly resolving these concerns with the Sri Lankan side