Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has said that India is a major partner for the close development and prosperity of Nepal.
He, who is on a four-day official visit to India, said this while addressing a joint press conference held after his meeting with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi.
Recalling that this is his fourth visit to India as the Prime Minister, he mentioned that the relationship between Nepal and India has been multifaceted on a strong social and cultural foundation for centuries. He said, "I want to appreciate the Neighbor First Policy taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the two countries.
"During the meeting, Prime Minister Dahal discussed strengthening multifaceted areas including trade, transportation, communication network, investment, hydropower, electricity trade, irrigation, agriculture, railways, bridges, transmission lines, petroleum pipeline expansion, integrated customs checkpoints and additional air entry points between the two countries. Said it happened.
He informed that during the meeting, the issues of hydropower projects being built in Nepal and the construction of international transmission lines were also discussed. "Nepal's hydropower sector is not only the basis of Nepal's economic progress and energy security, but it is also important for environmental protection," Prime Minister Dahal said.
Appreciating the fact that India is currently importing 450 megawatts of electricity from Nepal, he thanked Prime Minister Modi for his positive response to import an additional 1,200 megawatts of electricity, including 456 megawatts produced by the Upper Tamakosi hydropower project.
Prime Minister Dahal said that under the long-term electricity trade agreement, it has been agreed to import 10,000 megawatts of electricity from Nepal in the next 10 years. He said that this was possible based on the agreement reached between the Prime Ministers of the two countries in April 2022.
He also appreciated the support given to bring 50 megawatts of electricity daily from Nepal through India to Bangladesh. He expressed confidence that a tripartite agreement will soon be reached between Nepal-India-Bangladesh regarding electricity trade.
Prime Minister Dahal said that the agreement for the construction of Lower Arun Hydroelectric Project with 669 MW capacity and Phukot Karnali Hydroelectric Project with 480 MW capacity is a new beginning in the development of electricity and international transmission lines. He informed that there was an agreement between the two prime ministers to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) of the multi-purpose Pancheshwar project within three months and to prepare an implementation framework within one year of the approval of the DPR.
He informed that there was a discussion on irrigation from Tanakpur Canal to Nepal, bilateral mechanism to work to reduce the risk of flooding in the Terai region of Nepal before the onset of monsoon. He said that he asked for facilitation in exports to reduce the trade deficit with India. He said that he asked to remove the anti-dumping on the materials of jute products of Nepal.
Stating that the role of integrated checkpoints and dry ports will be important for trade facilitation, Prime Minister Dahal requested India to facilitate them. He said that the agreement on trade and transport has been reviewed.
Prime Minister Dahal expressed his belief that the agreement on international electronic payments will be of great help to students, businessmen, tourists and pilgrims of both countries.
According to him, an agreement has been reached regarding the extension of the petroleum pipeline from Motihari-Amlekhganj to Chitwan, the construction of a new petroleum pipeline from Silugudi to Charali in Jhapa, and the construction of a storage house.
Prime Minister Dahal said that he had discussed for additional air entry points and found India positive in this regard. I appreciate the Indian government's approval for flights from the Gautam Budh International Airport, which is located near the Nepal-India border, using the instrument landing system.
This will ensure safe and full capacity flight," he said. He said that he expects to fly to various cities in India from the newly constructed Bhairahawa and Pokhara International Airports.
Prime Minister Dahal said that there was a discussion on the issue of the border between the two countries to take initiatives for a solution through a bilateral diplomatic mechanism. He said that there was also a discussion about setting up a chemical fertilizer factory in Nepal in a joint partnership.
Mentioning that India is Nepal's close development and prosperity partner, Prime Minister Dahal expected India's continued support as Nepal is in the process of upgrading from a least developed country in 2026.
On that occasion, Prime Minister Dahal invited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a cordial visit to Nepal and said that he was eager to welcome him.
Earlier, an agreement has been signed between Nepal and India to build various projects. Prime Minister Dahal had a courtesy meeting with Indian President Draupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhad today.