Sri Lanka’s decision to scrap a joint venture coal power plant project will not deter India’s future investment plans in the country, the Indian government said today.
Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated this at the end of her three-day visit here after meeting Sri Lankan minister of international Trade Malik Samarawickrema and other officials.
The proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) and issues concerning the existing FTA between India and Sri Lanka were subjects among the talks. “India understands Sri Lanka’s need to move from coal power to more renewable power generation sources,” Sitharaman said adding that India would also explore the possibilities of helping Sri Lanka in their quest to set up an LNG plant in place of coal power generation.
Sri Lanka has decided to do away with the joint venture with National Thermal Power Corporation to build a coal power plant in the eastern district of Trincomalee. Sitharaman said that India is looking to invest USD 2 billion worth of investment in Sri Lanka despite its decision on the proposed coal power plant.
On the proposed ETCA over which Sri Lankan parties have raised concerns, she said India was open for discussion. “We have been meeting the business chaimbers to assess their concerns,” she said commenting on her discussions. Samarawickrema said the ETCA is expected to open up a market of 1.25 billion people in India.
Both ministers said the negotiations on ETCA were reaching the final stage as both sides want to see it happening “as soon as possible”. (PTI)