PM Modi to visit Nepal this month for BIMSTEC conference

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Kathmandu, Aug 16 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Nepal later this month to attend the BIMSTEC conference in Kathmandu, the Indian envoy here has said.

Prime Minister Modi, who will be visiting Nepal for the fourth time during his current tenure, will also inaugurate a 400-bed ‘dharamshala’ built with Indian assistance at the Pashupatinath temple premises here during his visit, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri said yesterday.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organisation comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.

The 4th BIMSTEC Summit will be held in Nepal from August 28 to 31.

The seven members of the BIMSTEC are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

Speaking at a function to mark India’s Independence Day, Puri underlined the need to strengthen connectivity between Nepal and India through railways and waterways and added that India is willing to cooperate with Nepal towards this end.

Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said that India has shown the world how democracy and development can coexist for the betterment of the people.

“India, being the largest democracy, has shown to the world, how democracy and development can go together for the betterment of the people,” the minister said at the programme organised by the Nepal-India Friendship Society on the occasion of India’s 72nd Independence Day.

Nepal and India can work together forging partnership in the areas of hydropower, trade and commerce for mutual benefit of their people, he said.

On the occasion, former Nepal premier Baburam Bhattarai, former minister and Nepali Congress leader Ramsharan Mahat, Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader Pashupati Shumsher Rana and Chief Election Commissioner Awadhi Prasad Yadav also spoke on various aspects of Nepal–India relations.

India has also provided financial assistance of almost NRs 500 million to Nepal government for the construction of postal highways across the Himalayan nation to aid transportation and facilitate postal services.

Puri handed over a cheque worth NRs 470 million to Madhusudan Adhikari, secretary in Nepal’s ministry for physical infrastructure and transport.

The amount has been released to maintain fund liquidity for the ongoing construction of 14 roads under the Postal Highway Project.

With this payment, a total of NRs 2.35 billion has been released to the Nepal government out of the total grant assistance of NRs 8 billion committed by India for implementing 14 packages under Packages 2-6 of Phase I of the Postal Highway Project.

Package 1 of the project comprising two roads has already been completed with the Indian government’s grant assistance worth NRs 1.02 billion, and was inaugurated in January, 2017.

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