India to develop regional airports in Jaffna and Batti: PM

Cheryl Sanders
June 11, 2019

President Sirisena, who participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi for his second term as Prime Minister in New Delhi, was the first leader to have bilateral talks with the Prime Minister after his reelection for a second term.

Prime Minister Modi said that the responsibility of friendly and brotherly countries is to help each other when one faces difficulties.

In a meeting with secretaries of all ministries, the prime minister said each ministry should come out with an "impactful decision" for which approvals will have to be taken within 100 days, they said. The development of the Jaffna and Batticaloa airports as regional airports was also discussed. The secretary was quoted as saying "saral kar diya par sugam nahin kiya (made simple but not easy)" with respect to rules and governance in general. He has been meeting secretaries of various ministries at regular intervals.

"PM Modi is likely to share his broad vision for the country and lay out a roadmap for the government", sources that ET spoke to said. At this, the officer in question reportedly told him that to do so would be essentially a question of how much money is available.

Noting that strong governments were formed at the Centre as well as in Andhra Pradesh, the Prime Minister wished the state would surge ahead on the development path under the leadership of Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Colombo archbishop cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, and Minister Sajith Premadasa and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu were also present at the occasion.

Modi also held talks with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka, which is key to India's strategic interests, especially in view of China's push to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region.

"Every department of the Union government and every district of each state has a role to play in making India a $5 trillion economy", the Prime Minister said while addressing the secretaries of all the government departments. He said the elections this time have been marked by a positive vote, which emerges from the trust that the common man feels, based on his day-to-day experiences.

The Prime Minister said Prime Minister Modi's continual show of support towards Sri Lanka will serve to strengthen confidence and encourage more people to visit Sri Lanka. Ease of doing business and ease of living would be the focus areas of the government, he said, adding that water, fisheries, and animal husbandry, will also be important areas for the government.

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