Nepal

Indian PM Mods first visit to Nepal three agreements signed

August 04, 2014 01:59 AM
Indian PM Narendra Modi & Nepal PM Sushil Koirla

KATHMANDU, August 3: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered Nepal $1 billion in concessional loans to help build power plants and roads during a visit on Sunday aimed at shoring up support in a region where China is making inroads.

Both India and China are vying for political influence in South Asia, home to more than 1.5 billion people, by offering closer integration with their giant economies. India has long been the dominant force in the region. But in recent years as its economy slowed and it struggled with policy paralysis, China has stolen a march, building ports from Sri Lanka to Bangladesh and power plants in Nepal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala during which the two sides signed three agreements, including a NRs 69 million grant to Nepal to supply iodated salt to curb iodine deficiency diseases.

Modi, who arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday morning on his maiden official visit to Nepal, met Koirala at Singha Durbar Secretariat.

India will provide a grant assistance worth NRs 69 million to supply iodated salt to curb goitre and other disease s related with iodine deficiency.



The two leaders discussed various issues, including Nepal’s peace process and Constitution-drafting process as well as economic issues.
They also discussed various facets of mutual relations and issues of common interest.
After the talks, Modi and Koirala witnessed the signing of three agreements.

Under the first agreement, India will provide a grant assistance worth NRs 69 million to supply iodated salt to curb goitre and other disease s related with iodine deficiency.

The second agreement was regarding the amendment of Articles 17 and 18 of the Pancheswor Multiple Project, the Himalayan Times reported.

The third agreement is about cooperation between Nepal Television and Doordarshan, the state-owned television stations of both the countries, it said.

From Singhadurbar, Modi went to the Constituent Assembly building in New Baneshwar to meet Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang.

On his way to the Constituent Assembly, Modi stopped his convoy to meet common people.

Earlier, Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years, was given a rousing welcome with his counterpart receiving him at Tribhuvan International Airport, deviating from protocol for the purpose.

Deputy Prime Ministers Bam Dev Gautam and Prakash Man Singh were also present at the airport.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Pandey paid a courtesy call on Modi and briefly discussed some bilateral issues, including hydro-power, trade, energy and security.

The meeting took place at a five-star hotel an hour after Modi arrived on a two-day trip, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years.

“The talks were held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere,” Pandey told PTI after the meeting.

Modi, in his pre-departure statement summing up the sentiment attached to the two-day trip, had said, “I am excited about my visit and pleased that I am able to go there within weeks of assuming office as Prime Minister.”

Modi had said that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a “new relationship” by identifying steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydropower, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports. 

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