Sunday Sep 24, 2023
Sunday Sep 24, 2023

Prime Minister terms his India visit as result-oriented

2023 Jun 04, 7:58, Kathmandu
Photo: RSS

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal arrived home on Saturday by concluding his four-day official visit to India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

At a press meet at Tribhuvan International Airport upon his arrival, the PM shared about the achievements of his India visit stating that his meetings with the Indian President, Vice-President, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were focused on further deepening our old-age and close ties.

The PM said that his visit was result-oriented and a guideline for the future and different than that of the past.

"This visit has further contributed to deepening the multi-dimensional relations of Nepal and India based on equality and mutual benefits," according to the PM.

He added that his visit has created an environment for trust after the free and open talks with his Indian counterpart Modi and a good basis has been prepared to resolve the outstanding issues.

The PM said that discussions were held and ideas were exchanged to further strengthen our cooperative relations in diverse sectors.

The PM added that the two prime ministers remotely inaugurated the Kurtha-Bijalpura section of the railway line; flagged off the inaugural run of the Indian cargo train to Nepal on the newly built Bathnaha-Biratnagar, Nepal Customs Yard railway; groundbreaking of integrated Check Posts at Bhairahawa (Nepal)-Sunauli (India); inauguration of Integrated Check Post at Nepalgunj (Nepal)-Rupaidih a (India); groundbreaking of phase II of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline project and groundbreaking of 400 KV Butwal-Gorakhpur Transmission Line.

According to PM Dahal, the two Prime Ministers reviewed the wide-ranging areas of bilateral relations and cooperation, including trade and transit; hydropower, power trade, and transmission lines; cross-border railways, motorable bridges, petroleum pipelines, and ICPs; instigation, river training, inundation, and flood control; agriculture; culture and civil aviation. It is said that they expressed commitment to sustain the momentum of engagement in diverse areas and further strengthen friendly relations based on equality, mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual benefit.

The two sides reviewed the progress of ongoing projects with a view to timely completion of them. The two Prime Ministers directed activating all bilateral mechanisms to expedite the works in their respective areas of competence and carry forward the bilateral cooperation.

Likewise, the two Prime Ministers also witnessed the exchange of the Treaty of Transit between Nepal and India; MOU for the development of the Integrated Check Post at Dodhara-Chandani; MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Petroleum Infrastructure; the MOU between the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) of Nepal and Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS) of India; MOU for the Development of Phukot-Kamali 480 MW Hydro-electricity Project; Project Development Agreement (PDA) of Lower Arun 669 MW Hydro­ electricity Project and MOU between National Clearing House Limited Nepal (NCHL) and National Payment Company India Limited (NPCIL) for cross-border payments.

Likewise, a strong consensus has been forged to develop cooperation in the hydropower sector.

The two sides expressed satisfaction that the Agreement on the long-term power trade completed during the visit will streamline the procedures for the power trade and make it more predictable.

The Prime Minister of India has stated that India aims to increase 10,000 MW of hydroelectricity from Nepal in the next 10 years, according to PM Dahal.

"Agreement on energy trade has been completed from all sides and the only thing left to do is to give a formal touch, which will take place soon," PM Dahal added.

The Prime Minister said that he has requested Indian Prime Minister Modi for approval of additional 1200 megawatts of hydropower for export from Nepal to India including the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project.

He said that the Indian side's positive response towards operationalizing the Instrumental Landing System (ILS) procedure for the smooth operation of Gautam Buddha International Airport and enhancing flight safety and efficiency adding that positive talks have been held for bilateral flights from Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa to New Delhi and other cities of India.

PM Dahal added that consensus has been forged that the officials of both governments shall expedite the bilateral discussions towards early finalization of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Pancheshwor Multipurpose Project within three months and added that the implementation framework of the project will be finalized within a year after the approval of the DPR from both governments along with financial closure.

An agreement was reached to construct the Tanakpur link canal and in a way, water will be released from the Tanakpur barrage to the irrigation command area of Nepal through this canal in a phase-wise manner, based on the readiness of the facilities on the Nepali side.

The discussion was held on the problem of flood and inundation in the areas along the Nepal-India border and the existing bilateral mechanisms were instructed for its early convening to take up necessary measures for effective prevention of the flood and inundation before the onset of monsoon, PM Dahal shared.

He further Likewise, Indian PM Modi agreed to approve transmission line projects proposed under the 4th Lines of Credit (LOC-IV).

The PM further shared that an agreement was reached for the extension of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj petroleum pipeline up to Chitwan and the construction of a new cross-border petroleum pipeline from Siliguri to Jhapa on grant assistance of India. The Indian side agreed to construct two motorable bridges over the Mahakali River in Sirsa (Parsuram Dham – Purna Giri Mai) and Jhulaghat under grant assistance, he briefed.

The two PMs also discussed expediting the construction of projects under Ramayan Circuit, GP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, the establishment of Nepal Institute of Technology in Sudurpaschim of Nepal, and to construct Cricket Stadium and Sports Village in Fapla, Dhangadi under the grant assistance of India.

The two Prime Ministers agreed to promote cooperation in the field of agriculture, including research and development, capacity building, natural farming, and the use of nano-fertilizers. PM Dahal thanked the Indian government for the gift of an improved breed of livestock and further requested germplasm of major cash crops, particularly sugarcane, and coffee.

During the talks, it was noted with satisfaction on the understanding reached in February last year on the supply of urea and DAP from India to Nepal. Strengthening this cooperation further, both leaders agreed to set up a fertilizer plant in Nepal with the participation of public and private sector entities from Nepal and India to meet the fertilizer needs of both Nepali and Indian farmers and with adequate assurance of market in both the countries. The two Prime Ministers directed the concerned authorities to explore the viability of such a plant.

The two Prime Ministers further emphasized on promoting trade and investment between the two countries. Mentioning the issue of the large trade deficit faced by Nepal, PM Dahal requested non-reciprocal access for Nepal’s agricultural and primary products to the Indian market. The two Prime Ministers directed for early convening of the Commerce Secretary-level mechanism to address the issues related to trade, including the review of the Treaty of Trade. They directed the concerned officials to work towards the early finalization of the MOU on mutual recognition of certificates and accrediting of the testing labs.

PM Dahal said he requested the Indian government the lifting countervailing duty on Nepali jute products.

Even the boundary matters were discussed by the two Prime Ministers. PM Dahal urged his Indian counterpart to resolve the boundary matters through the established bilateral diplomatic mechanisms. PM Dahal further said the Indian PM in the press meeting had clearly expressed his feeling about resolving remaining issues including boundaries as per the spirit of reciprocity. PM Dahal said he was excited by the positive expression of the Indian PM on boundary-related issues after a long time.

The PMs expressed commitment to sustain the momentum of engagement in diverse areas and further strengthen the friendly relations based on equality, mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual benefit, it was noted.

On Thursday evening, PM Dahal attended Nepal-India Business Summit jointly organized by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and addressed the gathering of prominent industrialists, investors, and businesspersons. Addressing the Summit, PM Dahal stated that the abundance of natural resources, a large pool of human capital, and a promising market in the neighborhood together with sound policy and the regulatory framework make Nepal ideally an attractive destination for investment.

He called for joining in value chains and taking advantage of the readily available economic opportunities in Nepal in mutually beneficial areas.

In the Summit, Minister for Commerce and Industry of the Government of India, Piyush Goyal, said that Nepal and India have unmatched complementarities to prosper and grow economically and offer promising opportunities for investment and trade.

After wrapping up his bilateral talks and official programs, PM Dahal also visited the Indore city of Madhya Pradesh, and the cultural city Ujjain of India.

PM Dahal shared he had extended a cordial invitation to the Indian Prime Minister for a visit to Nepal at an early date. Modi accepted the invitation with pleasure, PM Dahal said.

He further noted that the visit has contributed to further strengthening the multi-dimensional and close relations between Nepal and India based on mutual benefits and equality. The visit has enabled an environment of trust to advance open dialogue with PM Modi and address remaining issues, PM Dahal said.

PM Dahal went on to share that he had found this visit different than that of previous ones. The visit has been result-oriented which has also opened up avenues for the future, the PM noted. ---


Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal India visit Result Oriented four-day official visit Indian Counterpart Narendra Modi
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