Nepal, India agree to expedite PTA: Mahat

Published On: September 14, 2016 12:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Indian president's visit date to be finalized during Dahal's visit
KATHMANDU, Sept 14: Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat has said that Nepal and India have agreed to remove hindrances surfaced in implementing the bilateral Power Trade Agreement that was signed two years ago.

Mahat said the two sides agreed to remove such hindrances during his discussions with Indian ministers during his three-day visit to New Delhi which concluded Tuesday.

"I am confident this agreement will help attract huge investments in the energy sector in Nepal," a press note issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted the minister as saying upon his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Tuesday.

He said that he has asked the Indian side to expedite the construction of transmission lines, revamp Gauriphanta checkpoint, initiate necessary process to bring Chandani-Dodhara checkopoint into operation and move forward the second phase of construction of the Postal Highway. 

"As per the Gandak Irrigation Agreement, the canal should irrigate 40,000 acres of Nepali land but so far only 25,000 acres have been irrigated. So, I also discussed with the Indian ministers about closing this gap and they have taken this positively," Minister Mahat said. 

He said that he also discussed expediting mega projects like Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project as well as removing hindrances for resolving inundation problem along the bordering areas as well as issues associated with import and export."

"The Indian side has taken all the issues raised by me seriously and they are positive about removing hindrances and expediting various pending projects," he said. 

Minister Mahat had flown to India on Sunday to lay the groundwork for Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India on September 15. 

On Monday, Minister Mahat had held bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. In the meeting, Minister Mahat had requested Swaraj to take initiatives for effective implementation of the agreements reached between Nepal and India in the past and also to make efforts to expedite the projects that are being carried out in Nepal with financial assistance from the Indian government effectively and without any hindrance.

Apart from Indian External Affairs Minister Swaraj, Minister Mahat had met with Indian Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, Indian Energy Minister Piyush Goyal, General Secretary of Bharatiya Janta Party Ram Madhav, Indian National Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi, and Security Advisor of Indian Prime Minister Ajit Doval and discussed about strengthening Nepal-India relationships without affecting the national interests. He said that the Indian leaders have assured to carry forward the bilateral relation based on mutual trust.  

Minister Mahat also said that the visit of President of India Pranab Mukherjee has been confirmed but the date of the visit will be finalized during Prime Minister Dahal's visit to India. 

Prime Minister Dahal is paying a state visit to India from September 15 to 18. Minister Mahat will also accompany Dahal to India. 

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