Modi asks Oli to adopt an inclusive constitution

NAYANIMA BASU New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

NEW DELHI 20/02/2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli jointly tele inaugurating Muzaffarpur Dhalkebar Power Transmission Line at Hyderabad House ,in New Delhi on Saturday February 20,2016. Photo: Sandeep Saxena   -  BUSINESS LINE

Both countries ink seven agreements  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked visiting Prime Minister of Nepal KPS Oli to adopt an “all inclusive” constitution in an “amicable” manner during their first ever bilateral talks. Both countries also signed seven agreements to strengthen economic ties.

“We discussed all issues of bilateral importance. In last few years, Nepal has progressed steadily towards the path of democracy. Its adoption of the constitution is a significant step to that effort. But its success depends on agreement and dialogue. I hope Nepal will be able to achieve an all-inclusive constitution and that it will be done,” Modi told reporters after the meeting here.

PM Oli, on the other hand, stated the main objective of his visit to India is to “clear the misunderstandings” following the protests by Nepal’s Madhesi population that led to the blockade of all borders between both countries, Nepal government accused India of imposing.

“It is a great opportunity for me to visit my neighbour and I am happy that the misunderstandings are over. Our relations are beyond governments and beyond formal deals … For Nepal, relationship with India is important. India is our biggest trading partner. Nepal has vision of graduating from being a least-developed country by 2022. Economic relations between our two countries are crucial for this goal,” Oli stated.

Trade deficit

Oli also raised concerns about Nepal’s widening trade deficit with India. He also expressed Nepal’s unease over the usage of India-Nepal border by “unscrupulous elements.”

He said Nepal’s prosperity and growth remains one of India’s main priorities. Lauding the economic and trade ties between both countries, Modi said the pacts signed Saturday will take bilateral business ties to the next level.

Some of the significant Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed were on transit routes between Nepal and Bangladesh through the Vishakhapatnam port, rail transit facility and construction of transport corridors.

“We must realise that transport corridors between both countries can lead to highway of growth,” Modi said.

Power transmission line

Both leaders on Saturday jointly inaugurated a power transmission line from Muzaffarpur (India) to Dhalkebar (Nepal). This will provide 80 MW of power to Nepal with immediate effect. This will gradually reach its full capacity of granting 600 MW of power to Nepal by December 2017.

Modi also highlighted some of ongoing hydroelectric power projects on which both sides are working upon.

“I am glad that Nepal and India are working on several hydroelectric power projects that has a total capacity of nearly 7,000 MW. These projects should be expedited,” he said.

Modi said both sides have initiated work on establishing integrated check-posts for smoother flow of trade.

List of Agreements signed:

1. MoU on utilisation of $250 million Grant component of GOI’s Assistance package for Post-earthquake reconstruction assistance

2. MoU on strengthening of road infrastructure in the Terai area of Nepal

3. MoU between Nepal Academy of Music and Drama and Sangeet Natak Academy

4. Letters of Exchange on Transit Routes: (i) Transit between Nepal and Bangladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor (ii) Operationalization of Vishakhapatnam Port

5. Letters of Exchange on Rail Transport: (i) Rail transport to/from Vishakhapatnam (ii) Rail transit facility through Singhabad for Nepal’s Trade with and through Bangladesh

6. Inauguration of Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line [Initial supply of 80 MW, to be augmented to 200 MW by October 2016 and 600 MW by December 2017]

7. Establishment of Eminent Persons Group

Published on February 20, 2016

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