The fourth session of the Nepal-India Joint Commission was held in New Delhi on 27 October 2016. Co-chaired by the Minister of State for External Affairs, Government for India, M. J. Akbar, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, the two delegations included Foreign Secretary of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary of Nepal, Shankar Das Bairagi, and other senior officials from the two sides. The third session of the Joint Commission was held in Kathmandu in July 2014.
“The discussions were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere. The meeting of the Joint Commission was preceded by a preparatory meeting at the senior official’s level on 26 October 2016. The Joint Commission reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral partnership as well as exchanged views on sub-regional, regional and international issues of mutual interests.
”Both sides reviewed and positively assessed implementation of decisions emerging from high-level exchanges, including the two visits of our Prime Minister to Nepal in August and November 2014, and the visits of Prime Minister of Nepal to India in February, September and October this year. The intensive interaction at the highest political levels and regular meetings of important bilateral mechanisms demonstrate the priority that India attaches to furthering relations and cooperation with people and Government of Nepal,” said a press release issued by Indian Embassy.
The Joint Commission provided an opportunity to review political exchanges and bilateral cooperation in all areas and to provide necessary political guidance for further enhancing the traditionally warm and close relations.
Both sides acknowledged the significant progress made since the last meeting of the Joint Commission in taking forward bilateral initiatives in areas such as trade, transit, economic, mutual investments, defense and security, border management, power, water resources, agriculture, cross-border transport facilitation, education, cultural and youth exchanges, tourism, railways, infrastructure development, capacity building and human resource development and promotion of people-to-people contacts, among others.
The Joint Commission reviewed the progress in projects covered under the Lines of Credits, and agreed to expedite their implementation. Both sides agreed to closely monitor progress of all development and infrastructure projects such as the Terai Roads, the cross-border rail links, development of integrated check-posts, cross-border transmission line projects, hydro-power project, cross-border oil pipeline, and address any bottlenecks on both sides to expedite the implementation of these projects.
India conveyed its readiness to move forward expeditiously on post-earthquake reconstruction projects in partnership with the Government of Nepal, within the inter-governmental framework of India’s assistance package of US $ one billion.
Both sides decided to convene bilateral mechanisms at an early date to promote cooperation in areas such as trade, transit, civil aviation, water resources.
The next session of the Joint Commission will be held in Nepal at mutually convenient dates.