India, Nepal ink seven MoUs

India, Nepal ink seven MoUs

Submitted by alvin on Sat, 2016-02-20 16:26 New Delhi: India and Nepal on Saturday inked seven memorandums of understanding (MoU)s. The MoUs were signed in the presence of Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, who is on his first visit abroad after assuming office in October last year. An MoU on utilization of USD 250 million Grant component of GOI's Assistance package for Post-earthquake reconstruction assistance was signed the two countries. The signatories for this MoU were External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Nepalese counterpart Kamal Thapa. Under this agreement, four sectors, i.e., housing, health, education and cultural heritage have been identified. In housing, 100 million USD would be utilised for construction of 50,000 houses in 14 severely earthquake affected districts. 50 million USD each would be utilised in health, education and cultural heritage sectors in 31 earthquake affected districts of Nepal. The second MoU was strengthening of road infrastructure in the Terai area of Nepal, was signed between Ranjit Rae, Ambassador of India and Arjun Kumar Karki, Secretary, Ministry of Physical Transport of Nepal. This MoU will enable speedy implementation of remaining work on 17 Roads in Package 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Terai Road Phase-I project, totalling 518 kms. Two roads in Package 1 totalling 87 kms have already been completed. The third MoU was signed between Nepal Academy of Music and Drama and Sangeet Natak Academy, India which aims to enhance relations between India and Nepal in the field of performing arts through exchanges of experts, exponents, dancers, scholars and intellectuals. The signatories for this MoU were Helen Acharya, Secretary, Sangeet Natak Academy and Deep Kumar Upadhyay, Ambassador of Nepal. Then there were two letters of exchange on Transit Routes, one on transit between Nepal and Bangladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor and the second on operationalization of Vishakhapatnam Port. The first exchange of letters between would result in simplification of modalities for traffic of goods between Nepal and Bangladesh while transiting through India, through the Kakarbhitta (Nepal) and Banglabandha (Bangladesh) corridor. The second one would provide for transit facilities for Nepal through the Vishakhapatnam port. There was also letters of exchange on Rail Transport, one on rail transport to/from Vishakhapatnam and the second on rail transit facility through Singhabad for Nepal's Trade with and through Bangladesh. The first exchange of letters would allow for rail transport to and from Vishakhapatnam to Nepal while the second one would help operationalise rail transit facility through Singabad in India for Nepal's trade with and through Bangladesh. The sixth MoU, which was the inauguration of Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line was done by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart. The Nepal portion of the 400 KV Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line is being implemented by Government of Nepal, under an LoC of USD 13.5 million. 80 MW power would flow immediately through this line, with an initial charge of 132 KV. Thereafter, it will be augmented to 200 MW in October 2016 at 220 KV, and then to 600 MW by December 2017 at 400 KV. The initial supply of 80 MW would be augmented to 200 MW by October 2016 and 600 MW by December 2017. The seventh agreement was the establishment of Eminent Persons Group which was decided to be established at the third meeting of the India- Nepal Joint Commission held at Kathmandu in July 2014. The EPG comprises eight members with each country nominating four members, preferably a parliamentarian, a lawyer, an economist and a civil society activist. The EPG has now been constituted. Its mandate would be to comprehensively review bilateral relations and recommend measures including institutional frameworks to further enhance bilateral ties. (ANI)