‘PM‘s China visit made no breakthrough’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 25, 2018-

Former finance minister and Nepali Congress leader Ramsaran Mahat has said that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli failed to make any new breakthrough in Nepal-China relations during his recent visit to the northern neighbouring nation.  

“Developing economic partnership with China is good for Nepal. Oli’s China visit has hinted at many positive outcomes in the future. The agreements reached with China are positive, but there was no new breakthrough,” Mahat said.

“Deals on opening checkpoints and infrastructure development projects are not new ones. Both  nations had already agreed on these projects in the past. Kodari and Rasuwa border were opened during the government of Nepali Congress. And it was during the tenure of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala when Nepal had reached a verbal understanding with China on the Belt and Road Initiative back in August 2014,” the NC leader added. He noted that Prime Minister Oli’s China visit did add a new dimension to the agreements reached between the two nations in the past, and that the government should focus on implementing those agreements.

On the deal concerning Marsyangdi Hydropower Project, Mahat said, “Agreement has been made under engineering, procurement, construction and finance (EPCF) model of project development. And to my knowledge, this model should be done between two governments not private sector. I don’t understand what private sectors were involved in this MoU.”

Mahat also suggested the government to consider the country’s economic aspects while bringing Kerung-Kathmandu railway.

“The project will probably cost about 5 to 6 billion US dollars. The amount is double of our current national debt. Who will invest? How much investment will it require? Will it be grant or assistance or loan? We should focus on these issues,” he said. “We cannot take huge loans that we cannot repay. We should hold serious discussion before making any decision on railway project.”

The former finance minister said that Nepal would be better off if China develops the railway project.

Published: 25-06-2018 08:23

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