West indian culture

Lessons in budgetary prudence, not having the culture of gifts to learn: Jaishankar during a multi-stakeholder meeting on Lanka

The government told a multi-party meeting on Tuesday that India is understandably concerned about the Sri Lankan crisis and that there are “very strong” lessons in fiscal prudence, responsible governance and not having “a culture of gratuitousness” to draw. From this.

In the meeting attended by representatives of 28 political parties, including those of Congress, left-wing parties and DMK, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, however, rejected suggestions of such a situation in India.

”The ball is in the court of Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and they are having discussions. They need a deal so we (India) will see what supporting role we can play,” Jaishankar said after the meeting.

He also said Sri Lanka was still in a “very delicate and fragile condition”.

Two presentations were made at the meeting – one by Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on the Sri Lankan crisis and its policy implications and the other by Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth on everyone’s fiscal health Indian states.

”We don’t think a situation like Sri Lanka can happen in India. But there was a logic in what we were trying to do, we were trying to emphasize the importance of fiscal prudence. So it wasn’t that we were highlighting one or two states, we had almost all the states. There was no political intent in that,” Jaishankar said of the presentation on the fiscal health of states.

“It was a data-driven presentation of a comparative situation in India so that every political party and leader would come away with a good clear message,” he said.

Jaishankar concluded the meeting by emphasizing the lessons to be learned from the Sri Lankan crisis and said that the big lessons to be learned are fiscal prudence and good governance.

“Fortunately, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have both in sufficient quantity,” he said.

When asked by reporters about the lessons to be learned from the neighboring country, Jaishankar said: “The lessons from Sri Lanka are very, very strong. They are fiscal prudence, responsible governance and that there should not be a culture of giveaways.” ”The reason we took the initiative to ask you all to join a multi-stakeholder meeting was …this is a very serious crisis and what we are seeing in Sri Lanka is in many ways an unprecedented situation,” Jaishankar said in his opening remarks at the meeting.

“It’s a matter that concerns a very close neighbor and given the proximity, we naturally worry about the consequences, the fallout this has for us,” he added.

Later, speaking to reporters, Jaishankar said long-standing issues such as those related to fishermen were also raised during the meeting.

He said the leaders were also briefed that India’s support to Sri Lanka since January amounts to $3.8 billion.

“No country has given this level of support to Sri Lanka and the initiative we are taking to help them facilitate their engagement with others like the IMF,” he said.

From the government side, eight ministers attended the meeting, including Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and Fisheries Minister Parshottam Rupala.

Jaishankar also said that there had been “ill-informed comparisons” in the context of Sri Lanka, where some people asked if “such a situation could happen in India”.

“So what we did was we asked the Department of Finance to make a presentation and do a comparison between income and expenditure at the state level… the unpaid discom dues,” a he declared.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs claimed that it was a very open discussion with the leaders of all political parties expressing their opinion.

The meeting was attended by P Chidambaram and Manickam Tagore from Congress, Sharad Pawar from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), TR Baalu ​​and MM Abdulla from DMK, M Thambidurai from AIADMK, Ram Mohan Naidu from Telugu Desam Party and K Ravindra Kumar, among others.

Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Sanjay Singh (Aam Aadmi Party), Keshava Rao (Telangana Rashtra Samithi), Ritesh Pandey (Bahujan Samaj Party), Vijayasai Reddy (YSR Congress) and Vaiko (MDMK) also attended the meeting.

In the presentation on the situation in Sri Lanka, the government discussed the origin of the crisis, including political turmoil, economic scenario, unsustainable debt and declining foreign exchange reserves.

He also cited data indicating that India’s loans to Sri Lanka amounted to $859.3 million, or 2% of the island nation’s outstanding debt as of April 2021. China accounted for 10 % to nearly $3.4 billion.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, with a severe shortage of foreign exchange hampering the import of essentials including food, fuel and medicine.

The economic downturn has also sparked a political crisis in the island nation after a popular uprising against the government. Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency in the country.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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