Prime Minister of Nepal, KP Oli was on a three-day official visit to India from 6th – 8th April 2018.
- KP Oli was accompanied by his spouse Radhika Shakya and a 54-member delegation, including Nepalese Ministers, Secretaries, Government Officials and businesspersons.
- KP Oli took charge as Prime Minister of Nepal for the second time in February 2018. Oli’s, this visit to India was in line with the tradition of a Nepalese Prime Ministers visiting India on their first overseas trip.
- Before the visit, KP Oli had stated that this visit would focus on implementing past agreements signed between Nepal and India, rather than signing new ones.
- During the course of this visit, KP Oli called upon Indian President and Vice President and held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some Cabinet Ministers.
Highlights of Meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli:
On April 7, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli met in New Delhi and held discussion to expand bilateral ties in developmental cooperation, agriculture, trade & investment, energy, connectivity & people-to-people contacts.
- Both the Prime Ministers jointly pushed a button to virtually lay the foundation stone of the 900 MW Arun III hydroelectric project, for which Indian Government will provide USD 1.5 billion. This project will be built by Sutlej Jal Vikas Nigam.
- The integrated checkpost at Birgunj-Raxaul, the main entry-exit point on the open India-Nepal border, was also remotely inaugurated by both the Prime Ministers.
India to build strategic Railway link between Kathmandu and Raxaul
India will build a strategic railway link between Raxaul in Bihar and Kathmandu in Nepal to enhance people-to-people linkages and promote economic growth and development.
- Announcement in this regard was made on April 7, 2018, after delegation-level talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart K P Sharma Oli.
- Thus, a new electrified rail line connecting Raxaul to Nepal’s Capital Kathmandu will be constructed and will be entirely financed by India.
- This railway line holds strategic significance as in March 2016, China had agreed to construct a railway link with Nepal through Tibet, aimed at reducing Kathmandu’s dependence on India.
India, Nepal to enhance Agriculture cooperation
On April 7, 2018, India and Nepal reiterated their commitment to promote bilateral cooperation in agricultural science and technology, agricultural production and agro-processing.
- This reaffirmation was in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked between India and Nepal for the mutual benefit of farmers, consumers, the scientific community and the private sector.
- This partnership will be driven by Ministers for Agriculture of both the countries.
- It envisages collaborative projects in various areas of agricultural research and education and also promotes exchanges between the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC).
India, Nepal decide to develop inland waterways for Cargo Movement
India and Nepal have agreed to develop inland waterways for cargo movement, within the framework of trade and transit arrangements.
- Both the Prime Ministers acknowledged the untapped potential of inland waterways which can contribute towards overall economic development of the region.
- Officials from both the sides have been directed to work out modalities for including inland waterways as an additional means of transport in the Protocol to the Treaty of Transit between India and Nepal.
- This modification will provide additional access to sea for Nepal.
Modi, Oli launch ground breaking of India-Nepal petroleum products pipeline project
On April 7, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepal counterpart K P Sharma Oli launched the ground-breaking ceremony of Rs 3.24 billion India-Nepal petroleum products pipeline from Motihari to Amlekhgunj.
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed in August 2015 between Indian Oil Corporation and Nepal Oil Corporation.
- The 69-km-long pipeline (32.7 km of pipeline in the Indian Territory and 36.2 km in Nepal territory) is the first international cross-country petroleum pipeline project in India.
- A 10.75-inch diameter cross-country pipeline will be laid from Motihari in Bihar to Amlekhganj in Nepal.
Oli Seeks farm expertise for Nepal
On the third day of his India visit, Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli visited the GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand.
- KP Oli was conferred with a Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science at the university.
- During his address, he sought the research expertise of G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Uttarakhand to revolutionise agriculture in Nepal.
- He outlined that although two-thirds of Nepal’s population depend on agriculture, the sector’s contribution to the economy has not been significant.
Quick Facts about Nepal:
♦ Capital – Kathmandu
♦ ‘Currency – Nepalese Rupee
♦ Current Prime Minister – K P Oli
♦ Neighbouring Countries – India and China