Revised trade treaty with India to energise Nepal

KATHMANDU: The revised Nepal-India Trade Treaty will enhance Nepal’s International trade, said Minister for Commerce and Supplies, Rajendra Mahato here today.

Speaking at a press meet at Reporters’ Club, he said India has provided Rs 32 billion for Nepal’s postal road construction, railway area development and development of a Police Academy.

While the revised treaty is yet to be formalised it is certain that Nepali exports will get a boost, he said adding that it will support the economic development of the country.

The trade treaty has greatly supported the proposed economic enhancement that will give tremendous relief to Nepalis. According to minister Mahato, the revised trade treaty will be renewed every seven years. “Earlier, it used to be renewed every five years,” he added.

The revised treaty has also added five new trade routes to the existing 27 for trade. “Nepali industrial machinery that is up to 10 years old can also be sent to India for repair,” said the Commerce and Supplies Minister, who accompanied Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on the five-day India visit.

Hereafter, Nepali flowers, medicinal herbs, essential oils, flour, refined flour will get duty free access to India, according to the revised treaty that is yet to be finalised.

Both the South Asian neighbours have already put their initials and the Indian Commerce Minister will soon visit Nepal to ratify the revised treaty. It mainly widens the facilities for Nepal and addresses non-tariff barriers, additional duty and standards-related hurdles that Nepali exports have suffered from for the last five years.

Export procedures for goods like acrylic yarn, copper, zinc and vegetable ghee will be simplified and measures will be taken to facilitate agro-based exports. India will recognise Nepal´s standard certification and upgrade Nepali labs to ensure standards accreditation. Nepali agricultural produces will no longer be needed to go to Kolkata or Patna for lab tests. This will save Nepali traders from huge losses.

At present, Nepal has a trade deficit of over Rs 107 billion with India.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Energy Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat said that Pancheswor Multipurpose Project will be started soon which will help reduce load-shedding. “India is ready to provide support for regualr supply of electricity,” he said adding that the present transmission lines will also be upgraded.