Gyawali briefs Parliament on Modi’s upcoming Nepal visit

Kathmandu, May 9

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today briefed the Parliament on the upcoming Nepal visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi is paying a state visit to Nepal from May 11 to 12 at the cordial invitation of PM KP Sharma Oli.

Addressing the parliament, Minister Gyawali said Modi will pay courtesy calls on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun on May 11. The same day, Oli and Modi will hold bilateral talks, where various issues related to Nepal-India relations will be discussed. The two prime ministers will also inaugurate Arun-III Hydropower project, said Gyawali.

Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City and Kathmandu Metropolitan City will also hold separate civic receptions in honour of the visiting Indian prime minister. Modi will also observe guard of honour at Sainik Manch, Tundikhel.

In Janakpur, both the prime ministers will jointly inaugurate Ramayana Circuit and Janakpur-Ayodhya direct bus service, according to Gyawali. “This is Indian PM Modi’s third visit to Nepal and the government believes this visit will further strengthen age-old Nepal-India relations,” said Gyawali. Before Minister Gyawali’s address to the Parliament, lawmakers made queries and offered suggestions to the government vis-a-vis Modi’s Nepal visit.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Devendra Raj Kandel drew the government’s towards the Gandak agreement, saying the Nepali side did not get due benefit and the government should raise the issue with the Indian side during official talks.

CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Sudan Kiranti demanded clarity over whether locals of Bhojpur would be allocated shares of Arun-III Hydropower Project.

“Since the transmission line of the project passes through Bhojpur, a lot of district residents will be affected. So I request clarity over whether the affected locals will be allocated the project’s shares,” he said.

Nepal Workers and Peasants Party lawmaker Prem Suwal also asked about the status of the Rs 100 billion concessional loan announced during Modi’s last visit to Nepal and Rs 100 billion grant for quake announced by the Indian government. Suwal also questioned why Modi was beginning his Nepal visit from Janakpur and not from the national capital Kathmandu.