KATHMANDU, April 6: In his first foreign visit after assuming office, Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli is leaving for India on a three-day state visit, Friday.
Prime Minister Oli's entourage includes his spouse Radhika Shakya, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth.
Chief Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal, members of parliament, the chief secretary, secretaries and other high-ranking government officials are among members of the entourage, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Upon arrival in Delhi on Friday morning, Prime Minister Oli is scheduled to hold an interactive meeting with the business communities of Nepal and India. The prime minister will then hold an interaction with the Nepali community residing in India.
Prime Minister Oli, who will stay at the Presidential Palace, is scheduled to attend a diplomatic reception to be hosted in his honor by the Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi in the evening. He will take a separate opportunity for a meeting with members of the Nepali community during the reception.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Oli will attend a ceremonial reception and inspect a guard of honor at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He will then separately call on Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
After the courtesy calls on the president and vice president, Prime Minister Oli will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. He will then hold an official meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will host a banquet luncheon in honor of Prime Minister Oli and his delegation.
Prime Minister Oli has repeatedly said in public that he does not intend to seek any new agreement during this visit, but wants to focus on bringing various bilateral agreements reached in the past into implementation. According to MoFA, the two prime ministers are scheduled to jointly inaugurate the Integrated Check Post at Birgunj during the visit.
Officials said Prime Minister Oli is likely to raise the issues of the long-stalled Pancheshwor Multi-purpose Project, energy cooperation, the Arun III and Upper Karnali hydropower projects, the release of the Indian reconstruction grant and soft loan, removal of non-tariff trade barriers and the expansion of market access opportunities for Nepali products in order to reduce the ballooning trade deficit with India. Among other things, the questions of LPG gas bullets, exchange of demonetized Indian currency notes and additional air routes via Indian airspace are likely to figure during the bilateral meeting between the two prime ministers.
Prime Minister Oli is also scheduled to interact with the intellectual community at a civic reception to be organized by the India Foundation, the Indian government's thinktank, on Saturday. The External Affairs Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Home Affairs of the Government of India and senior political leaders will call on Prime Minister Oli in the afternoon the same day.
On Sunday, the prime minister will fly to the GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, where he will be conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. The prime minister and his delegation shall return home the same afternoon.