Sri Lanka-like situation won’t arise in India: EAM

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday dispelled the fear of a Sri Lanka-like situation arising in India, as he briefed the leaders of different parties on the situation in India’s neighbouring country, and the country’s role in it.

The External Affairs Minister told leaders of political parties that there have been “misinformed comparisons” in Sri Lanka’s context, wherein some people had asked whether “such a situation can happen in India”.

Briefing the media after the meeting, Jaishankar said, “We don’t think India will ever be in Sri Lanka like situation… There is a very serious crisis in Sri Lanka. The situation there is unprecedented in terms of what we are seeing, the financial, social and political consequences of that.

“It is a very close neighbour, so naturally level of concern as well as worry that there will be a spill over to India is there. If in any neighbouring country there is instability or violence, it is something of a big concern,” he added.

Jaishankar said, “We did two presentations, one was from a political, foreign policy perspective, which explained the political turbulence, the economic crisis that was there… the debt situation.”

He said several members wanted to know what were the lessons to be drawn from Sri Lanka situation. He said the government had anticipated this question, and a presentation was made by the Finance ministry on fiscal situation of different states.

“Many members were concerned about what are the lessons from Sri Lanka. We had anticipated that question coming, we also have seen some very misplaced speculations in the press that something has happened in Sri Lanka, so should we be worrying about situations in some parts of India”.

Jaishankar said the Finance ministry made a presentation on “statewise expenditure to revenuecomparison.”

“The liabilities, growth rate of liabilities of various states… We had a good discussion,” he added.

Jaishankar said assistance has been provided by India worth 3.8 billion dollars, adding that it will continue to extend all support.

“Many members appreciated that we stepped forward. Wherever they had doubt, I am confident that we were able to clarify,” he added.

He said the lesson to be drawn from Sri Lanka is that of fiscal prudence.

“Many had legitimate concern what are the lessons. We eneded this on the note that big lesson to be drawn from Sri Lanka is fiscal prudence and good governance”. “Fortunately in this country, in leadership of PM, we have that,” he said.

The briefing was attended by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Congress’ P Chidambaram and Manickam Tagore, Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Sharad Pawar, DMK’s T R Baalu and M M Abdulla. M Thambidurai (AIADMK), 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) were also among those present in the meeting. (UNI)

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