New Delhi: High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India, Milinda Moragoda on Tuesday met Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ahead of G20 Finance Ministers' Meeting.

During the discussion, High Commissioner Moragoda once again thanked Minister Sitharaman for the unprecedented emergency assistance that India has extended to Sri Lanka and for the timely issuance of India's financial assurances to the International Monetary Fund, concerning the country's debt restructuring process, read High Commission of Sri Lanka in India press release.

The meeting between the Finance Minister and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka took place just ahead of the first meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers scheduled to be held on February 24-25, 2023 in Bengaluru, chaired by Minister Sitharaman.

The High Commissioner also thanked India and Minister Sitharaman for the assistance being provided to Sri Lanka in the present economic recovery phase, in particular for the necessary regulations and approvals that are being set in place to facilitate rupee trade between the two countries.

The discussion also focused on the ways and means to utilize the available resources in the 1 billion USD Indian line of credit to import urgently required essential pharmaceuticals, which are in short supply in Sri Lanka, added the release.

Moragoda briefed Minister Sitharaman on Sri Lanka's ongoing discussions with the International Monetary Fund to obtain the Extended Fund Facility and the present status of the country's debt restructuring process.

While apprising the Minister of the drastic impact the present economic contraction is having on the population of Sri Lanka, High Commissioner Moragoda expressed his appreciation to Minister Sitharaman for her efforts in garnering international support for Sri Lanka's case including at the G20 forum.

India sent financing assurances to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), becoming the first of Sri Lanka's creditors to officially back the crisis-hit island nation's debt restructuring programme.

This takes Sri Lanka one step closer to getting a crucial USD 2.9-billion package from the IMF, made contingent on "receiving financing assurances from Sri Lanka's official creditors and making a good faith effort to reach a collaborative agreement with private creditors."

Notably, China, Japan, and India are Sri Lanka's three largest bilateral lenders.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in January visited Sri Lanka and said that India is committed to increasing investment flows to Sri Lanka to hasten its economic recovery.

During his visit, India and Sri Lanka discussed cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, industry and health.

Jaishankar's visit to the island nation came at a crucial time as Sri Lanka has been making efforts to obtain an extended fund facility from International Monetary Fund.