PM PRACHANDA: Defending agreement

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has defended recent agreements with India as protecting Nepal's broader national interest.

Jan. 15, 2024, 8:20 a.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 17, No. 11, January.12,2024 (Poush,27. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Led by the main opposition party CPN-UML and some other communist groups, the parliamentary committees of the House of Representatives summoned Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to implicate him in the controversy over the recent agreements signed with India.

With his clear stand, the Prime Minister has made it clear that no agreement has been made with India that is detrimental to the national interest.

Briefing the meeting of the Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee under the House of Representatives about the agreements signed between Nepal and India during the visit of Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to Nepal on January 4, he reiterated that no agreement has been reached that involves expenditure outside Nepal's system and mechanisms.

Referring to the High Impact Community Development Project agreed with India, Prime Minister Prachanda clarified that this agreement is a continuation of the previous agreement and has been further systematized and improved. "There is no such provision in the present agreement with India that allows the Indian side to unilaterally select and implement the project. The regular monitoring and also periodic review of the project implementation will be done by the Nepalese government machinery," he said.

Committee members Mahesh Kumar Bartaula, Pratiksha Tiwari, Sobita Gautam and Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, among others, sought clarifications from the Prime Minister on this agreement.

The Prime Minister clarified that there was nothing to hide in the agreements after lawmaker Bartaula demanded that the government should provide the written document of the agreement to the parliament and the committee.

Prime Minister Prachanda also briefed the committee on the long-term power trade agreement, the agreement to launch Nepal's nano-satellite and the agreement on renewable energy reached between the two countries during the visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary to Nepal.

According to him, as per the understanding reached during his earlier visit to India, an agreement was reached to export 10,000 megawatts of electricity from Nepal to India in the next 10 years and this agreement has opened the door for electricity trade between the two countries.

Similarly, the Prime Minister said, an agreement has been reached under which New Space India Limited of India will launch the nano-satellite developed by Nepalese students into orbit at its own cost and another agreement has been signed between Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and NTPC of India for carrying out capacity building works and programs including training between them.

The Prime Minister said that preparations are being made to take forward the work on Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project by finalizing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) within a few days.

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