Meeting with Modi positive, says PM

Kathmandu May 13

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli briefed both houses of Parliament today saying Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal had yielded positive results for both countries. He mentioned the issues discussed and issues on which understanding had been reached during Modi’s state visit on May 11 and 12.

“There has been informal understanding on some issues not mentioned in the joint statement,” he said, adding that discussion on those issues would continue.

The PM said some references used during the speech at the civic felicitation in Janakpur had violated diplomatic norms and values. “Somebody made inappropriate remarks against Nepal but that was refuted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he said India respected Nepal’s integrity. We should neither tolerate bullying nor abandon national interest,” he added.

Indian politician Kirti Azad had remarked against Nepal’s sovereignty in his twitter message.

According to Oli, there was understanding on building a 1,300-metre link road under the Pancheswor Project. “We have not finalised some issues, including Sarada barrage, but work will move ahead. We have proposed three bridges over the Mahakali River and the Indian side was positive,” Oli said. The PM said a 6.8-kilometre four-lane road would be constructed to link Mahendranagar with India.

Oli said both sides discussed establishing an energy bank. “We are close to agreement on building the Butwal-Gorakhapur transmission line. We have also agreed that both sides will speed up construction of Hulaki Road.”

Oli said there was informal understanding on establishing integrated check posts in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj. “We have intensified discussions on issues related to trade in jute, LP gas and medicines.”

PM Oli also said he discussed the issue of demonetisation, which had affected Nepal’s banking sector.

Oli said Nepal has also demanded additional dry port in India.

The 1950 treaty could be reviewed at an appropriate time as per the recommendations of the Eminent Persons Group, he said.

India has agreed to provide three new air routes to   Nepal through areas close to Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj. Currently, India provides just one air route to Nepal through areas close to Birgunj.

Oli said several agreements were yet to be implemented. “We have agreed to determine the implementation date of these agreements around the next Constitution Day.”

Oli said both sides agreed to start survey of Kathmandu-Raxaul railway. “India has given responsibility of survey to the Railway Division and Nepal should form a task force in this regard. The cost of survey and construction of the railway line will be borne by India.

Oli said both sides have agreed to form task forces to work on waterways project. He further said, both sides agreed to review the trade treaty within three months and to resolve issues related to export of Nepali goods to India. “I also raised the problem of inundation due to construction of dams in the border area,” the PM said.

The Nepali side also urged the Indian side to accept documents issued by Nepal Medical Council as Nepal does the documents issued by Indian Medical Council.

The PM informed Parliament he would be visiting China soon, but did not mention the date of the visit.