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India’s coop with Indian Ocean countries in focus as Modi inaugurates Mauritius SC building | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: India’s hoping its cooperation with Indian Ocean Rim countries and its development assistance to them will be foregrounded further Thursday with PM Narendra Modi’s inauguration of Mauritius’ new Supreme Court building.
Official sources here said that relations with not just Mauritius but also the Maldives and Sri Lanka have been revitalised with a fresh thrust to economic cooperation.
With Maldives, 18 Agreements and MoUs have been signed since early 2019 with new areas of cooperation including parliament, judiciary, police, customs, civil services, culture and health.
“The financial assistance package of $1.4 billion announced during the state visit of President Solih to India in December 2018 has been fully activated,” said an official.
A number of big infrastructure projects have been identified under the $800 million LoC, which include an International Cricket stadium, expansion of Hanimadhoo Airport, Gulhuifalhu Port project, Cancer Hospital etc. “India is also assisting in the construction of a new Institute for Security & Law Enforcement Studies (ISLES), assisting Maldives in its defence sector modernization, and helping restore the iconic Friday Mosque in Male also known as Hukuru Miskiy,” he added.
With Sri Lanka, India’s total development assistance now exceeds $3.45 billion, of which $560 million is in the form of grant assistance. As official sources here said, India’s assistance programs in Sri Lanka focus on capacity-building, human resources development, connectivity, as well as infrastructure development.
Indian housing project to construct 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka is India’s “flagship” and largest grant assistance project in Sri Lanka. “Over 48,600 houses have been constructed so far. A further 10,000 houses are planned to be constructed for the Indian-origin Tamil population in the upcountry region,” said an official source.
India’s efforts have played a major role in improving connectivity in Sri Lanka, according to Indian authorities.
“India has helped restore arterial railway lines, which sustained heavy damage in Tsunami in 2004 and has reconnected northern Sri Lanka with the rest of the country by restoring railway lines, establishing signaling systems and supplying rolling stocks,” he added.
“People in the Northern Provinces were happy to see the train services in 2014 after a gap of 25 years. India is also helping in the development of Kankesanthurai harbor in the northern tip. Air connectivity from Chennai to Jaffna was restored after a gap of more than 3 decades with the commencement of flights between Chennai and Jaffna in November 2019,” he added.
With Mauritius, India announced a Special Economic Package of $353 million in 2016, under grant assistance, for infrastructure projects.
“Lines of Credit (LOC) worth $600 million at concessional terms have also been announced for Mauritius with priority focus on developmental projects. India is also extending assistance in health care sector for construction of a renal unit and construction of 4 mediclinics and 2 area health centres,” said another official.

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