The Indian government has granted LKR 20 billion as aid to implement 64 High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDP) under Indian grant assistance, the Indian High Commission in Colombo revealed in a press release.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this purpose was signed between India and Sri Lanka at the Temple Trees on Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The MOU was signed by Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay and Treasury Secretary SR Attygalle. The Ministry of Finance is the nodal Ministry for implementing the HICDP scheme on the Sri Lankan side.

The extension of the ongoing MoU on HICDP for another five years had been announced during the Virtual Bilateral Summit between Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister  Mahinda Rajapaksa on 26 September 2020.

As per the new framework MoU for the third phase, signed today, individual developmental projects costing up to LKR 300 million in social sectors such as health, education, water, sanitation, agriculture etc can be taken up in Sri Lanka. The total outlay of all such projects at any given time can be up to LKR 5 billion,according to MOU.

It had been also agreed during the Virtual Bilateral Summit to deepen and broad base the HICDP projects currently undertaken in each of Sri Lanka’s 25 districts.

These projects will be confined  to socio-economic development, livelihood support, conservation of environmental and cultural heritage, empowerment of women, child welfare and facilitation of community life, particularly through the creation of infrastructure in the education, health, agriculture or community development sectors.

Presently, 21 projects covering all provinces viz., Northern, North-Central, North-Western, Western, Southern, Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka are being undertaken under the MOU.

They include construction of primary schools and colleges, vocational training institutes, Universities, hospitals, rural sanitation, cultural heritage, rain water harvesting, social housing for poor, agricultural warehousing, tourism and civil aviation infrastructure support, the Indian High Commission announced.

The HICDP scheme has been designed to contribute to the developmental aspirations and needs of Sri Lanka. The projects undertaken are always demand-driven and entirely based on the requirements of the Government and the people of Sri Lanka.

Further, all overheads and administrative costs for implementing these projects, as indeed any other projects under Government of India grant, are absorbed separately by Government of India and are not included in the project outlay.

The scheme is entirely on-budget and implemented through various line Ministries of Sri Lanka, thereby indicating the depth of our development cooperation with Sri Lanka. HICDP reflects the abiding commitment of India to work closely with the government and people of Sri Lanka for shared progress and prosperity