India visit to boost ties, says PM Oli

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said his upcoming India visit from April 6 to 8 would solely focus on strengthening bilateral relations.

Addressing the House of Representatives, the PM said he was visiting India at the invitation of Indian PM Narendra Modi.

Stating that the starting point of Nepal’s foreign and neighbourhood policy was ‘friendship’, Oli said his India visit was also a part of the government’s endeavour to make neighbouring countries partners in Nepal’s development drive.

“To realise our national goals of development and prosperity, we’ll maintain harmonious, balanced and friendly relations with our neighbours based on mutual benefit, mutual respect, equality, non-interference, UN charters, principles of non-aligned movement and the five principles of peaceful coexistence,” he said.

Terming Nepal-India relations ‘age-old and multi-dimensional’, Oli said the government’s policy was to maintain a dependable friendship with India without any mistrust.

Oli also made it clear that no new agreements would be signed just for the sake of it. “Rather than piling up new agreements and forgetting about them, we’ll focus on how to make tangible progress on past agreements and in areas of mutual cooperation,” said the PM.

According to him, talks with the Indian side during his visit will give due priority to issues related to the agricultural sector, such as agriculture modernisation and organic farming.

He added that he would explore possibilities of developing waterways and railways. “When it comes to waterways, we can ferry goods via the Ganges. Talks have already started on this front, and during my visit I’ll work to make sure the talks are expedited,” he said.

As far as the energy sector is concerned, the PM said the implementation of power trade agreement between the two countries would also be discussed. He said any important agreement reached in the past that had been overlooked would be brought back to the forefront, while the inappropriate ones would be revised. Old projects, such as Pancheshwor Multi-purpose Project, will also be discussed with a view to expediting them.

Oli said he would try to attract investment to establish industries in Nepal with a view to minimising trade deficit by increase production and exports. Connectivity related issues — integrated check posts, postal highways and cross-border railway — will also be discussed to ensure swift implementation.

On post-quake reconstruction, the PM said talks would be held on expediting projects being undertaken by India. “We’ll also discuss concessional loans from India for projects in Nepal,” he said, adding that issues related to increasing the number of air routes, floods and inundation, transit, Mahakali Bridge, demonetisation, Nepali gas bullets and expediting other infrastructure projects would also feature in the talks.

According to Oli, the Nepali side will also talk about SAARC and BIMSTEC, as Nepal is chair of both of these regional cooperation associations. “Such regional integration bodies can become means of easing tensions and eliminating misunderstandings,” he said, adding that talks would also be held on strengthening the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) initiative to ensure maximum benefit for all four countries in terms of connectivity, trade, health and education.

The PM also reiterated that Nepal would give due importance to addressing the legitimate concerns of India and raising issues of common concern, such as terrorism, human trafficking, cross-border crime and smuggling.

Besides holding delegation-level and personal-level talks with Indian PM Modi and paying courtesy calls on the president, vice-president, ministers and high-level officials, Oli said he would also hold separate interactions with the Indian business community, Nepali community in New Delhi and the intellectual class.

Bilateral talks agenda

  • Making tangible progress in agreements reached in the past
  • Modernisation of agriculture, organic farming
  • Development of waterways
  • Implementation of power trade agreement
  • Expediting Pancheshwor Multi-purpose Project
  • Attracting investment to establish industries in Nepal to slash trade deficit
  • Establishing integrated check posts, postal highways and cross-border railways
  • Post-earthquake reconstruction
  • Increasing the number of air routes
  • Terrorism, human trafficking and cross-border crime


PM Oli apprises parliament of India visit agenda

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has addressed the House of Representatives and informed the parliamentarians about various agendas to be discussed in his upcoming official visit to India, today.

In his address, the Prime Minister revealed the agendas including Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project (PMP), reconstruction works, completion of postal highway, railway projects among others that will be discussed with the Indian government in the visit.

Praising the support provided by the Indian government during the 2015 earthquake, Oli said, "I will discuss the projects that were committed to be reconstructed by India after the devastating earthquake."

Discussion on creating additional air routes to enter Nepal will also be focused in the meeting, he informed.