7-9 MoUs to be signed during PM’s India visitSeven to nine Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) will be signed during Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s state visit to India beginning Wednesday, according to officials involved in preparations of the visit.
Seven to nine Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) will be signed during Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s state visit to India beginning Wednesday, according to officials involved in preparations of the visit.
Both Kathmandu and New Delhi on Monday formally announced Deuba’s five-day state visit to India—first since he became the prime minister in June and fourth in the last two decades.
As of Monday evening, both sides have finalised the text of seven MoUs to be signed during the visit, said Dinesh Bhattarai, foreign relations adviser to PM Deuba.
Four MoUs on Indian grant portion of reconstruction aid pledged during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction in 2015 are set be signed during the visit. India’s Minister for External Sushma Swaraj had pledged $1billion for Nepal’s reconstruction at the 2015 conference and announced that one fourth of the pledged amount would be in grants. The Indian grant portion will be used for housing, culture and heritage, health and education. Another MoU will be about the construction of a motorable bridge over Mechi River in Bhadrapur, Jhapa.
Two other MoUs are related to an agreement between the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology and Indian Bureau of Standardisation. Another MoU is about the drug demand reductions between law enforcement agencies between Nepal and India across the border.
Government officials said the two sides are engaged in finalising two more MoUs by Thursday when PM Deuba will hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The two prime ministers will exchange the text of agreements after their bilateral meeting.
Talks will also focus on Nepal’s access to Visakhapatnam from four Nepali trading points between Nepal and India. Nepal has demanded access for Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Jogbani besides Birgunj points to the Indian port for bulk cargo import and urged the Indian side to expand cross-border rail facilities up to these trading points.
According to Bhattarai, besides building trust at the highest political level, the two sides will also discuss issues like connectivity, construction of a dry port in Chandani-Dodhara in the far-western region of Nepal, energy cooperation including some concrete breakthrough in Pancheshwar Project, infrastructure projects, Indian investment in Nepal, extradition treaty and mutual legal assistance, compensation to the Nepali nationals while constructing the Koshi dam and inundation problems in Nepal, among others.
PM Deuba will be staying at India’s Rashtrapati Bhawan as a guest of the President of India.
According to an itinerary issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PM Deuba on Wednesday will attend a reception hosted by the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi and will address the Nepali community in India. On Thursday, PM Deuba will attend a ceremonial reception and inspect a guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
After paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, PM Deuba will pay separate calls on Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. His official meeting with Modi is also scheduled for Thursday.
PM Deuba will also visit Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar states of India before returning home on Sunday.