Economic, energy, and infrastructure will form an important part of the agenda during the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ here today, with special focus on deepening the power sector cooperation through new initiatives.
This is the first bilateral visit of Prime Minister Prachanda to India, after assuming office in December 2022.
Previously, he visited India twice in 2016 and in 2008 in his capacity as Prime Minister of Nepal.
During the bilateral talks today, both sides will build on the successes achieved by India and Nepal in the bilateral partnership during previous high level visits [Prime Minister Deuba to New Delhi (April 2022) and Prime Minister Modi to Lumbini (May 2022).]
Engagement between the two Prime Ministers will be an opportunity to discuss the entire gamut of the multifaceted relationship between India and Nepal.
Transforming the civilizational ties between the two countries with multi-dimensional connectivity—economic, energy, and infrastructure will form an important part the agenda.
One of the key areas of focus would be to further deepen the power sector cooperation through new initiatives across the entire spectrum of cooperation.
The India-Nepal Joint Vision Statement on Power Sector Cooperation of April 2022 was a milestone and Nepal has been exporting over 450 MW of electricity to India.
Indian companies have also taken keen interest in developing hydropower projects in Nepal. India was also the Country Partner in the recently held Power Summit in Nepal (April 2023) and witnessed strong participation from Indian companies.
The two Prime Ministers are likely to review the India-Nepal Development Partnership which forms the key pillar of the bilateral relations.
India has been pursuing several large infrastructure projects in Nepal such as the Arun III hydropower project, Gorakhpur-Butwal 400 kV cross border line, ICP in Nepalgunj- Rupaidiha and at Bhairahawa-Sunauli, and Railway projects Jayanagar-Bijalpura-Bardibas, Jogbani-Biratnagar rail link. These projects have made good progress.
These projects build on the previous successful projects such as the ICPs in Biratnagar and Birgunj as well as the Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipeline (first cross-border petroleum product pipeline in South Asia).
Strengthening the financial connectivity between two countries would be a discussion point. Last year in April 2022, the RuPay card was launched in Nepal during the visit of Nepal’s former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to India.
The leaders will also look at strengthening the people to people and cultural ties that provide a strong foundation for the modern India-Nepal relation