Nepal and India made comprehensive review of
India-funded projects in Nepal during the official visit of Indian Foreign
Secretary Vijay Gokhale. This is Gokhale’s first visit to Nepal after taking
charge as foreign secretary of India fifteen months ago.
The review meeting took place after the fifth
meeting of the Joint Commission at foreign ministers’ level in Kathmandu, which
was initially proposed for February, could not take place at that time as
Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj was occupied with election
The foreign secretaries of both the countries
expressed satisfaction at the substantial progress that has been achieved on
bilateral projects and initiatives that were discussed and agreed to during the
reciprocal visits of Prime ministers of Nepal and India in April and May 2018,”
read a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
“The two foreign secretaries agreed to maintain
the momentum in bilateral engagement across diverse sectors of cooperation and
to further strengthen the traditionally close, friendly and multifaceted
partnership between the two countries.”
During the foreign secretary-level meeting, both
sides reviewed the progress made in India-funded projects in Nepal, ways to
remove bottlenecks in order to expedite them. According to both sides, two
foreign secretaries discussed progress made in cross-border rail projects,
construction of the integrated check posts, transmission lines, Upper Karnali
hydroelectricity project, Arun III project, Pancheshwar Development Authority,
Tarai road projects, Mahakali bridges, Line of Credit projects and
reconstruction projects funded by India.
Gokhale, who arrived in Kathmandu on March 28th
morning, held delegation level talks with his Nepali counterpart Shanker Das
Bairagi before meeting with Prime Minister Oli and Foreign Minister Pradeep
During the three reciprocal visits of Prime
Minister Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018, Nepal and India
had set deadline to resolve all pending issues and remove the bottlenecks.
Both foreign secretaries reported to Prime
Minister Oli that there has been significant progress on many bilateral fronts
and India-funded projects, according to Bhattarai. During the meeting, Mr.Oli
advised both foreign secretaries to continue reviewing the progress and find
ways to deal with all outstanding issues, he added.
According to the Nepalese Foreign Ministry
sources, both foreign secretaries discussed different aspects of Nepal-India
relations and reviewed the status of implementation of the various projects
including those pertaining to agriculture, connectivity, railway and waterways.
“While expressing satisfaction on the
progress made in many areas of cooperation in the past year, both sides agreed
to expedite progress on early resolution of pending issues,” the ministry said
in a statement. Both foreign secretaries of Nepal and India have also been
following up on the matters agreed during the high-level visits through video
Nepal’s leadership apprised the visiting Indian
foreign secretary of Nepal’s principal position on terrorism and said that
Nepal is against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, an
official who was present in the meeting, told the Post.
The Embassy of India said both the officials
expressed satisfaction at the substantial progress made in recent times.
Similarly, some long-pending issues like
preparation of the detailed project report of Pancheshwar Development
Authority, part of the Mahakali Treaty, construction of the Nepal Police
Academy building and Indian aid for Nepal’s reconstruction projects under the
grant scheme (housing, cultural heritage, health, education) and line of
credits of $750 million were figured in the meeting.
The two neighbors have yet to settle 750 million
US dollars Indian soft loan on post-earthquake reconstruction projects in
partnership with the government of Nepal, within the inter-governmental