FM Poudel to leave for India today

  • To prepare ground for PM’s visit
  • Indian aid, line of credit, Fast Track and hydel projects to be discussed
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 7, 2016-

Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel is set to leave for New Delhi on Sunday to prepare the ground for Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s India visit scheduled to begin on February 19.

On the eve of Poudel’s visit, PM Oli chaired a briefing meeting to set the agenda for his first foreign visit since becoming the prime minister in October 2015.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and secretaries from the Finance and Foreign ministries attended the consultation.

Minister Poudel has been instructed to do the “needful” to make Oli’s visit a success, a government source said. Poudel is travelling to Delhi as Oli’s emissary to normalise the relations between the two countries ahead of the PM’s official visit.

Nepal-India relations soured after Nepal adopted its new constitution in September 20. Differences over the contents of the charter passed by the Constituent Assembly also stalled bilateral engagements for a couple of months. The normalisation process began with the first amendment to the constitution on January 23.

“Nepal-India relation is returning to normal. Finance minister’s India visit will focus on further clearing the misunderstanding,” said PM’s Foreign Affairs Expert Gopal Khanal.

Poudel is also likely to clarify the Nepal government’s position on addressing the remaining demands of the agitating Madhes-based parties, particularly on provincial boundaries.

Besides political matters, Poudel will also take up the issue of utilising the

pledged Indian aid for reconstruction and the $1 billion line of credit announced during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kathmandu in August, 2014. Modi had offered the soft loan through Exim Bank of India.

In June last year, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj pledged $1 billion to rebuild the earthquake-ravaged country. The Indian side, however, has not released the funds so far.

Sources said discussion on Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast Track and hydropower projects will be expedited for a potential memorandum of understanding to be signed during the prime minister’s Delhi visit.

Published: 07-02-2016 09:51

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment