India has approved a fresh loan of US$318 million to Sri Lanka’s railway department to upgrade its communications system and rolling stock, Media Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke told journalists here on Wednesday.
“India has already granted loan facilities of about US$ 966 million for the development of the Sri Lankan railway service and they have been utilized in improving northern and southern railway lines and to purchase engines and power sets,” Karunatilleke said.
He added that during the Sri Lankan visit of the Indian Prime Minister in 2015, the Indian premier had agreed to grant a further loan of US$ 318 million for the improvement of the country’s railway.
This loan amount is expected to be utilized in improving the signal system from Maho to Anuradhapura and Anuradhapura to Omanthai, and to purchase 6 power sets with AC carriages, 10 engines, 30 wagons with oil tanks, 20 container carrying wagons, and 160 carriages.
Accordingly, the proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to enter into an agreement with the EXIM Bank of India to obtain the said loan, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, Karunatilleke said.