Trade treaty with India to be renewed automatically

Kathmandu, October 20:

Rajeev Kher, joint secretary at the ministry of commerce, government of India, announced that Nepal-India Trade Treaty, which was due to expire on March 5, 2007, would be renewed automatically for the benefit of the Nepali economy.

He was speaking at a discussion forum organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). The treaty can however be ‘broadened and strengthened’ in the light of the changing economic environment, he added.

The issues and concerns raised by the Nepali business community would also be accommodated in an effective way in days to come, Kher assured the gathering of business people.

“We are also in the process of reviewing decisions and issues before reaching the date for the trade treaty renewal,” said Kher. “I was here in a bid to understand trade and economic concerns at greater length prevailing between the two countries,” he informed.

He informed that he had met with various senior government officials to understand the issues involved at first hand.

“We are in the process of making the trade treaty more inclusive and effective,” said Kher. “We are working out ways to broaden economic cooperation with Nepal in a comprehensive way,” he informed.

Chandi Raj Dhakal, president of FNCCI, said that at a time when Nepal’s economy is going through a rough patch, the Indian government has extended cooperation and help. He appreciated the role played by India in boosting Nepali trade and industries.

Dhakal said that Nepali entrepreneurs have started the production of items like readymade garments for export to India with very little margin, which he hoped the Indian government would take up at urgently.

With the slow down in the economy, coupled with the declining revenue collection and rising expenditure, it has become difficult to for the government to earmark funds for development, said Dhakal. He expressed hope that if genuine trade gets encouraged, it would automatically discourage unauthorised trade.

Jawed Ashraf, counsellor (commerce) at Indian embassy, Kathmandu gave some details about the setting up of a proposal for a joint study group for comprehensive economic agreement between the two countries.

Naindra Prasad Upadhayay, joint secretary at the ministry of industry, commerce and supplies also expressed hoped for automatic renewal of the trade treaty. Other issues of concern of the business community would also be taken up and addressed in a proper manner, Upadhayay said.

Various experts and businesspersons asked both countries’ officials to effectively sort out the the problems faced by exporters of both countries.