Cabinet approves prime minister’s official visit to IndiaDahal is going to India on a four-day visit on May 31. He will hold delegation level talks with Indian Prime Minister Modi on June 1.
The government on Monday approved the official visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India. Dahal is scheduled to visit India from May 31 to June 3 where he will hold delegation level talks with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on June 1.
“A cabinet meeting on Monday approved the visit of the prime minister to India,” Minister for Information and Communication Rekha Sharma informed. “Five cabinet ministers will accompany the prime minister on his visit.”
Sources said the prime minister will lead a delegation of around 100 members to India, which would include ministers, government secretaries, security officials, mediapersons and members of the business community.
Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, Foreign Minister NP Saud, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation Prakash Jwala, Energy Minister Shakti Basnet and Minister for Industry Ramesh Rijal will accompany the prime minister to New Delhi and the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, which the prime minister will visit after completing his engagements in New Delhi.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dahal will hold delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Modi at Hyderabad House on June 1, which will be followed by a joint press conference by the two prime ministers.
Modi will host a luncheon in honour of the Prime Minister of Nepal and his delegation, said the ministry. Dahal will also address the Nepal-India Business Summit in New Delhi, jointly organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and interact with business leaders of both the countries.
Dahal will also interact with the Nepali community in India over a welcome reception to be hosted by the Ambassador of Nepal to India Shankar Prasad Sharma.
Dahal is scheduled to visit Ujjain and Indore in Madhya Pradesh before returning home on June 3.
Officials said most bilateral agreements slated to be signed are related to energy cooperation, cross-border energy trade, institutional arrangements for long-term energy trading between Nepal and India and issues related to transit, construction of petroleum pipelines, integrated check posts, opening of a railway yard and projects related to connectivity and infrastructure.
Agreements on digital payments between Nepal and India, construction of a dry port in the Chandani-Dodhara area in Nepal, inauguration of integrated check posts in Nepalgunj, and the establishment of a new integrated check post in Bhairahawa are also scheduled.
Also on the list of agreements are the inauguration of a rail yard in Biratnagar for a railway track that comes in from Jogbani, India; construction and expansion of two petroleum pipelines; allowing of Nepal Television broadcast in India, energy trading between Nepal and Bangladesh via India, and agreement on electricity trade between the state-owned agencies of the two countries for another 25 years that would ensure that both sides do not need to seek approvals time and again.
The officials said agreements on the construction of two hydropower projects—Lower Arun and Phukot Karnali—by Indian developers, a cross-border electricity transmission line, and an agreement providing chemical fertiliser to Nepal are to be signed during Dahal's visit to the country's southern neighbour.
“The issue of boundary dispute too will figure in the bilateral talks between Dahal and Modi, but that will not dominate the talks,” said one of the officials. “We have not reached any conclusion yet on the boundary issue, so our focus will be on settling the other issues first.”
According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Prime Minister Dahal will also make courtesy calls on Indian President Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar. “In addition to the official engagements, Prime Minister Dahal will also be visiting Ujjain and Indore as part of his visit,” said the statement from the Indian side.
This will be Dahal’s fourth state visit to India in his three terms as the country’s premier. “The visit is expected to further strengthen the age-old, multi-faceted, and cordial relations between Nepal and India,” said the Nepali foreign ministry.