Oli cuts short India visit; urges Indian investment

New Delhi/Kathmandu, Nov 7:

Cutting short his week-long visit to India, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, KP Sharma Oli, is returning home tomorrow, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in Kathmandu.

“The deputy prime minister is returning tomorrow due to the positive developments (on the political front) here,” Yadav Khanal, the spokesperson at the MoFA, said.

Oli had to cancel his scheduled visit to Kerala and Kolkata. He has, however, completed his official meetings in New Delhi. He had left for the Indian capital on November 5 and was scheduled to return on November 11.

“As Mr Oli is not only the deputy prime minister but also holds an important post in the CPN (UML) party, his presence is necessary given the positive developments in the country,” Rajan Bhattarai of the UML’s department of foreign affairs said in New Delhi.

“As the peace talks back home is in its final and decisive phase, the DPM’s presence is necessary. Both the government and his party has directed him to return to Nepal tomorrow,” Bhattarai said. “The Indian government has been informed about the situation,” said a member of delegation lead by Oli and acting Nepalese ambassador to India, Tara Pokhrel.

During his visit, Oli met Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukharjee, Foreign Secretary Shiva Shankar Menon, BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, communist leaders Prakash Karat, AB Bardhan and Dipangkar Bhattacharya.

Oli also said he urged Indian businessmen to invest in the hydro electricity sector and in the construction of infrastructure in Nepal. Oli was speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in New Delhi.

“The days ahead will be conducive to foreign investment. As such I urge Indian investment in hydro electricity, construction of infrastructure, roads, energy and other industries,” Oli said. He added that the government will make changes in policies to create an investment-friendly atmosphere.

Indian ambassador to Nepal, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, said the construction of three to four transmission lines for exchange of electricity between Nepal and India will start soon. He said he is committed to ensuring Indian investment in Nepal for the development of the energy sector.

Mukherjee said that the economic package announced by India during PM Girija Prasad Koirala’s visit to New Delhi will soon be handed over to Nepal.

India urged to extend railways

NEW DELHI: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, KP Oli, said he asked India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to extend India’s railway service to Nepal. “During a meeting with the External Affairs Minister, I asked him to extend railways from Raxaul to Nepal,” Oli told this daily on Tuesday, adding that he proposed the laying of a 1,400-km railway track from eastern to western Nepal. “He has taken the proposal positively,” he said. — HNS