Bulk cargo facility agreement likely to be signed during PM Oli's India visitNepal and India are all set to sign an agreement related to the latter providing ‘bulk cargo’ facility at various border points of Nepal during Prime Minster KP Sharma Oli’s state visit to the southern neighbor.
Nepal and India are all set to sign an agreement related to the latter providing ‘bulk cargo’ facility at various border points of Nepal during Prime Minster KP Sharma Oli’s state visit to the southern neighbor.
According to a source, India has exprssed readiness to sign the agreement that would open doors to import the bulk cargo from third countries directly to Biratnagar, Bhairawaha and Nepalgunj through railways.
This kind of facility is currently available only at Birgunj customs. Both the countries had been holding discussions regarding the issue for a long time. Bulk cargo includes fertilizers, sugar, soybean, salt, piña, raw plastic materials among others.
The bulk cargo items brought from third countries via Kolkata, Haldiya and Vishakapatnam port are imported to Nepal only through Birgunj border point at the present.
Business persons have been demanding bulk cargo facility at other border points arguing that with just one border point with the facility they had to increase their investment on the raw materials resulting in decline in the competitive competence of Nepali products.
Citing lack of railway infrastructure, India has been saying that it was difficult to provide bulk cargo facility at other border points.
Earlier in 2012, Nepal India Inter Government Committee had agreed to expand the bulk cargo facility at Biratnagar and Bhairawaha border points. The agreement, however, was not implemented as the letter of exchange was not issued.
Oli, Modi to inaugurate ICP
During the India visit, Prime Minister KP Shama Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are scheduled to inaugurate the Raxual-based Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Birgunj.
The then Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna had laid the foundation stone of the ICP on April 22, 2011.
Spread in 115 bighas of land, it has been learnt that the traffic congestion along the Nepal-India border point would be eased after the operation of the ICP.
“Once the ICP comes into operation, International trade will be eased and the country’s export to India will be increased,” said an official at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
The construction of ICP in Nepal was started one-and-a-half year late than the Indian side due to land compensation dispute in Sirsiya of Birgunj, Madhes agitation and economic blockade among others, while the ICP in Raxual of Indian side was constructed in May 2016 and has already been handed over to the Indian customs.
The ICP of Nepal was handed over to the Nepal Intermodal Transportation Development Committee under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies last week.
After the operation of ICP, different routes will be used to the import and export the materials. Likewise, all kinds of gadgets needed for the automated customs system will also be installed.
Service seekers will reap benefits as all the quarantine offices of livestock, food, and plant including the immigration office will be at the same premise.
Constructed with a cost of Rs 4 billion, Nepal was given the responsibility to provide land compensation while the responsibility of constructing the infrastructure was given to India.
Nepal and India had agreed to construct ICP in Biratnagar, Birgunj, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj in 2006.