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India advances Sri Lanka digital ID project $5.4M

India advances Sri Lanka digital ID project $5.4M

A cheque of 450 million Indian rupees (approximately US$5.4 million) has been handed to Sri Lanka’s government as part payment for the implementation of the country’s digital ID project dubbed SL-UDI.

The payment by India represents 15 percent of the total project amount, reports Colombo Page.

An announcement of the advance disbursement was made recently during a high-level meeting of the Joint Project Monitoring Committee to discuss progress being made regarding the project.

Information from the meeting reveals that tenders for the project are currently being studied, with a contractor expected to be chosen within the time frame set out in the bid document. The two countries had agreed to have only an Indian company win the contract.

The Senior Adviser to the President on national security and chief of presidential staff, Sagala Ratnayaka, underlined the importance of meeting deadlines at all stages of the project implementation process, during the meeting which took place at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

While expressing gratitude to the Indian government for the support, Ratnayaka said it was important to now hold regular discussions as the project inches towards a critical phase.

The country is also banking on the digital ID project, which will be modelled like India’s Aadhaar, to improve access to public and private sector services and grow its digital economy. Authorities hope to use the ID project to accelerate Sri Lanka’s digital transformation efforts.

India has offered huge financial support to Sri Lanka in various ways lately as the country’s economy struggles to recover from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic and effects of the war in Ukraine which has driven up inflation.

India is actively working to influence the development of digital identity in countries around the world, such as through a recently signed MoU with Papua New Guinea.

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