Nepal, India review bilateral pacts, sign several agreements (Ld)

  • IANS
  • World News
Nepal, India review bilateral pacts, sign several agreements (Ld)
Credit: © Reuters.

Kathmandu, Jan 4 ( IANS) Nepal and India on Thursday comprehensively reviewed the status of bilateral ties and areas of cooperation that exist between the two countries during the seventh meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission here. To take part in the meeting, India's External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday and co-chaired the talks along with his Nepal counterpart, N.P. Saud.

"Had a comprehensive and productive meeting of the 7th India-Nepal Joint Commission. The discussions focused on our overall bilateral ties, trade and economic relations, land, rail, and air connectivity projects, cooperation in defence and security, agriculture, energy, power, water resources, disaster management, tourism, civil aviation, people-to-people contact, cultural exchanges and development partnership, Jaishankar tweeted.

The Joint Commission is the highest-level political mechanism between Nepal and India to take stock of the state of bilateral relations.

During the meeting, Nepal and India inked several agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoU), where India announced a grant of NPR 1,000 crore for the country's reconstruction bid after the devastating earthquake last year.

This is a new grant announced by India to assist Nepal in its reconstruction bid.

Both sides also inked another agreement on long-term power trade, setting a target to reach 10,000 megawatt of electricity exports to India in the coming 10 years.

Nepal's Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Gopal Sigdel, and India's Energy Secretary Pankaj Agarwal signed an MoU on the deal during a meeting at the Yak and Yeti Hotel here. The energy deal was among the four agreements signed on Thursday.

Another agreement is related to an increase of Indian aid for small development projects in Nepal. As of now, India has been providing Rs 5 crore to execute small development projects. Now, the budget has been increased to Rs 20 crore, according to the agreement.

This small development grant will be provided through government bodies and other organisations.

According to Amrit Rai, spokesperson for Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, India has also agreed on Rs 10 billion financial aid to Nepal for the reconstruction of Jajarkot and Rukum West, which were worst hit by the earthquake in November.

Likewise, an agreement has been reached for the launch of Nepali satellites between the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology and New Space India Limited under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

ISRO will launch the made in Nepal satellites.

Similarly, an MoU was inked for cooperation in the renewable energy sector between the Nepal Electricity Authority and the National Thermal Power Corporation ( NTPC (NS: NTPC )), India.

Saud and Jaishankar also jointly inaugurated three cross-border transmission lines.

--IANS

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