'Lessons Of Fiscal Prudence, Good Governance To Be Learnt': S Jaishankar On Sri Lanka Crisis

He said that there are "very strong" lessons of fiscal prudence, responsible governance and not having "a culture of freebies" to be learnt.

By Talibuddin Khan
Updated: Tue, 19 Jul 2022 08:32 PM IST
Minute Read
'Lessons Of Fiscal Prudence, Good Governance To Be Learnt': S Jaishankar On Sri Lanka Crisis
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addresses a press conference after the all-party leaders’ meeting, in New Delhi. (ANI Photo)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said that the crisis in Sri Lanka is very serious and India is naturally worried as the matter pertains to a very close neighbour. Jaishankar's remarks came after he attended an all-party meeting in New Delhi, which was attended by Congress' P Chidambaram and Manickam Tagore, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and T R Baalu and M M Abdulla of the DMK among others, over the situation in Sri Lanka.

"The reason we took the initiative to request you all to join an all-party meeting as this is a very serious crisis and what we are seeing in Sri Lanka is in many ways an unprecedented situation," Jaishankar said, adding, "It is a matter which pertains to a very close neighbour and given the near proximity, we naturally worry about the consequences, the spillover it has for us".

Jaishankar, dismissing the apprehensions about such a situation arising in India, said that there have seen some "misinformed comparisons" in the context of Sri Lanka wherein some people have asked whether "can such a situation happen in India".

He said that there are "very strong" lessons of fiscal prudence, responsible governance and not having "a culture of freebies" to be learnt. "Lessons from Sri Lanka are very very strong. They are of fiscal prudence, responsible governance and that there should not be a culture of freebies," he said.

"So, we had asked Finance Ministry to make a presentation that brought out, statewise, the expenditure to revenue comparison, liabilities to GSDP, growth rate or liablities of various Indian states, budget borrowings that they have done, mortgaging of assets", Jaishankar added.

Jaishankar said that India has approached the situation in a very humanistic way and is ready to help the crisis-hit country in every way. "We've approached it (Sri Lanka situation) in a very humanistic way as part of our neighbourhood first policy. They're still in a very delicate situation. As their discussions with IMF go forward, whatever support we can give in terms of working with relevant agencies, we'll do", he said.

M Thambidurai (AIADMK), Saugata Ray (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) were among those who attended the meeting.

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

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

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