Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' is now on his four-day India visit starting Wednesday, which was much anticipated after his appointment to the post as chief of the executive. People from every walk of life are watching this visit with keen interest because the visit is expected be another milestone for strengthening Nepal-India bilateral cooperation and taking the bond to newer heights.
This is an official visit the Prime Minister is paying at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government was making preparations for the visit for the last couple of months setting agenda to be discussed. The PM-led delegation comprises ministers, high government officials and media persons. The PM has informed the House of Representatives and the issue has been discussed on the eve of the visit.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said that the visit of the Prime Minister is expected to further strengthen the age-old, multifaceted, and cordial relations between Nepal and India.
PM Prachanda is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President of India Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar. He will hold delegation-level talks with his Indian counterpart Modi at Hyderabad House, the state guest house of the PM of India which is used for holding meetings with visiting foreign dignitaries. A joint press meet between the two prime ministers will follow the meeting.
Necessary homework has been done regarding the agenda of the visit. The focus is on bilateral agreements that will benefit both the neighbours. India has said that its foreign policy gives priority to neighbour-first approach and it is expected that discussions will be held and deals will be reached for a win-win situation. Talks on hydropower development and power trade will top the agenda of the high level teams in New Delhi.
Nepal is planning of sell its excess electricity to India and Bangladesh and for this, investment in hydropower projects and the construction of power transmission infrastructure are crucial. Reduced reliance on the use of fossil fuels and development of clean energy like hydropower are desirable for development and prosperity of both Nepal and India.
The Prime Minister will address Nepal-India Business Summit in New Delhi jointly organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). This interaction between the business leaders of the two countries will certainly open new avenues and opportunities for investment, commerce and trade.
The business interactions offer a platform to urge and invite the Indian business community to invest in Nepal. Trade relations between Nepal and India are close and intimate and India's preferential treatment can go a long way in promoting the export of Nepali products to the southern neighbour. This will prove very fruitful to narrow the widening Nepal's trade deficit with India.
Speaking at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry the other day, Minister for Foreign Affairs NP Saud said that prime-minister level discussions would be held on the matters of bilateral interests and concerns. Power transmission line construction and inauguration of integrated check post are also among the scheduled agenda of the visit.
Minister Saud mentioned that significant discussions would be held on promoting Indian investment in Nepal's energy and hydropower sector, trade and transit and air route. The state visit of the Prime Minister is expected to promote goodwill between the two neighbours, expand the areas of cooperation and make the neighbourly bond stronger by clearing concerns.