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Jaishankar inaugurates multiple initiatives, including 59 post-quake projects in Kathmandu

AsiaJaishankar inaugurates multiple initiatives, including 59 post-quake projects in Kathmandu

The two-day visit of India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Nepal concludes today. Jaishankar embarked on an official trip to Nepal from January 4th to 5th, 2024, at the invitation of Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. N.P. Saud.

Earlier, the two Ministers co-chaired the 7th meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission, which reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation including developmental partnership. The Joint Commission appreciated the achievements made in all areas of bilateral cooperation during the period following the 6th meeting of the Joint Commission held in January 2021.

After the meeting of the Joint Commission, EAM and the Foreign Minister of Nepal witnessed the exchange of the important agreements, the first being the Agreement between India and Nepal for the implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in Nepal.

In the new Agreement, the budgetary ceiling for implementation of HICDPs has been increased from NPR. 5 crore to NPR. 20 crore. The other important agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Nepal is on Long Term Power Trade. Under this Agreement, it has been agreed to strive to increase the quantum of export of power from Nepal to India to 10,000 MW within a timeframe of ten years and towards this end take all necessary measures to encourage mutually-beneficial investments in Nepal’s hydropower generation sector and transmission infrastructure.

Launch Service Agreement for Munal Satellite developed by Nepal Academy of Science and Technology between NewSpace India Limited and Nepal Academy of Science and Technology. This satellite developed by Nepali students shall be launched on a gratis basis on an Indian launch rocket. MoU for Cooperation in Renewable Energy Development between NTPC Limited and Nepal Electricity Authority. This MoU creates a framework for cooperation in renewables between NTPC and NEA.

The two Ministers also jointly inaugurated three 132 kV cross-border transmission lines between India and Nepal, namely, the second circuit of Raxaul-Parwanipur line, the second circuit of Kataiya-Kusaha line, and the New Nautanwa-Mainhiya lines.

The two Ministers also witnessed the handover of the fifth tranche of post-Jajarkot earthquake relief supplies provided by the Government of India to the Government of Nepal, consisting of 200 prefabricated houses, 1200 blankets, 150 tents and 2000 sleeping bags for the earthquake affected people in Nepal. Out of the 200 prefabricated houses, 20 were handed over today and the remaining shall be handed over in various tranches over the next few weeks.

In addition, to support reconstruction after the recent earthquake in Jajarkot, EAM also announced that the Government of India will be providing a financial assistance package of approx. NPR 1000 crores, with a major portion under grant assistance.

EAM paid courtesy calls on President of Nepal, Mr. Ram Chandra Paudel and Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. Bilateral matters of mutual interest were discussed in these meetings. During the course of the day, EAM also held meetings with other senior political leaders of Nepal. The Foreign Minister of Nepal also hosted a dinner in honour of the EAM.

EAM inaugurated 59 post-earthquake reconstruction projects in the education, health and culture sectors, including the new building of the Tribhuvan University Central Library, which has been built with Government of India’s grant assistance. EAM returned to India this noon.

Nepal is a priority partner of India under its ‘Neigbhbourhood First’ policy. The visit is in keeping with the tradition of high-level exchanges between two close and friendly neighbours.

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