‘pact on Ktm, Kerung rail project at final stage’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 29, 2017-

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara has claimed the much-talked about pact on the Kathmandu-Kerung rail project, a cross-border rail network between Nepal and China, is at final stage of signature.

Speaking at a programme organised by the China Study Center and the Nepal Institute for Strategic Center on “One Belt One Road Initiative and South Asia” in the Capital on Friday, the DPM said Nepal would sign the pact with China.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had assured the Chinese side that Nepal would sign an agreement to extend the rail network from Kerung to Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbni, he said. 

“As per the PM’s proposal, we are making preparations to sign the agreement with China soon,” Mahara said.

While it is uncertain yet whether Nepal would be part of OBOR, Mahara who is set to lead Nepal at OBOR Conference in Beijing next month, said that Nepal wanted to take advantage of the plan.

We have taken it as an opportunity to expand economic cooperation, he said, “Nepal is at final stage to sign the initiative to which the government has accorded the highest priority.

“We are sure a country like Nepal will be helped by this initiative which is expected to bring together many countries, including those in South Asia.” 

Though top Nepali officials, including PM Dahal, have been insisting on Nepal’s participation at the OBOR conference, sources  privy to the development say that negotiations and consultations with the Chinese side is underway and no concrete decision has been made yet. 

During his recent visit to China, PM Dahal had assured the Chinese leaders that Nepal would be the signatory of the initiative within April 20. But Nepal could not meet the deadline because a text for the agreement was not ready, said an official.

During the programme, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong highlighted the advantages of OBOR while urging the Asian nations to become the part of the event where representatives of over 150 countries are expected.

“It will fulfill the development appetite of South Asian nations,” she said.

Published: 29-04-2017 07:58

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