Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Nepali PM arrives in Delhi

A file image of Nepal's Prime Minister KP Oli and Sushma Swaraj|Twitter A file image of Nepal's Prime Minister KP Oli and Sushma Swaraj|Twitter
Frederick Owens | 06 April, 2018, 16:33

Prime Minister Oli is accompanied by his spouse Radhika Shakya; Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali; Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Matrika Prasad Yadav; Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Raghubir Mahaseth; Chief Advisor to the PM, Bishnu Rimal; Members of Parliament; the Chief Secretary; Secretaries and other high-level officials of the government.

Indian Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh receives Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at New Delhi airport, on Friday, April 6, 2018.

At the same time, Nepal needs a proactive India in the "Neighbourhood First" spirit.

The Nepal Police has apprehended several Indian nationals exchanging demonetised notes for much lesser amount in Nepal knowing full well that New Delhi will have to honour the treaties and exchange old Indian currency with Nepalese citizens. Oli has reached New Delhi on a three-day state visit this morning. He will also engage with the business community as well as the Nepalese diaspora in India.

While congratulating Oli over phone upon his appointment to the top executive post in February, Prime Minister Modi had extended an invitation to him for a visit to India.

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India's battle with China to influence Nepal is hotting up and the $2.5-billion Budhi Gandaki project is one such project in Nepal which is becoming one of the prime reasons of a tug-of-war between Delhi and Beijing.

Nepal in May past year signed up to China's ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative, a massive infrastructure drive at the centre of the Asian giant's push to expand its global influence. But within months, after the Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba took over from Prachanda as Prime Minister, he had cancelled the dam project in November previous year, saying the agreement to build it had been done in an "irregular and thoughtless manner", reported IE.

"Our Southern neighbor is ready to assist in Nepal's development", Oli said in a statement, adding that the focus will be more on the pending projects".

Though last month, Oli told a Chinese daily that he meant to revive the Budhi Gandaki, no matter what may come his way.

Indian sources said similar terms could be applied to Nepal, given that Indian public sector or private companies be involved in building dams in Nepal. Many in the Himalayan nation blame India for the blockade that crippled Nepal's economy.

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