The neighbouring Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Nepal can jointly promote tourism and boost trade by upgrading the land route between them.
"The joint promotion of tourism like the Buddhist circuit will help promote tourism between the two countries," said chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav today during a meeting with a delegation of Nepali entrepreneurs and journalists at his office in Lucknow.
Nepali entrepreneurs, led by the vice chair of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Bhawani Rana, on the occasion, apprised Yadav of various problems that Nepali entrepreneurs have been facing at the Uttar Pradesh border.
India has been planning to construct an international airport at Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, which will also help promote the Buddhist circuit, he added. Sarnath – the place where Buddha preached for the first time after enlightenment – Kushinagar – the place where he breathed his last – in Uttar Pradesh, and Lumbini in Nepal – where he was born – are included in the Buddhist circuit that could help promote tourism jointly.
"The members of parliament from the neighbouring state Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Nepali districts can form a joint committee that could look into the problems with cross border trade, flood management, joint security arrangement apart from joint tourism promotion," mentioned Yadav.
Uttar Pradesh is connected with eight districts of Nepal and is a major land route for imports from India. There are many opportunities of trade and economic promotion between us, he said, adding that the opportunities should be exploited for the larger benefit of both the countries.
Responding to the request of Nepali traders and entrepreneurs, Yadav — who also showed interest to visit Nepal in September — vowed to solve the problems to the best of his ability at the state level and ask for New Delhi's help with other issues.
Representatives of FNCCI district chapters from the seven districts that are connected to Uttar Pradesh briefed Yadav about the problems they have been facing with border customs, transportation and security, while importing and exporting goods from India through Uttar Pradesh.
The 500-km-long Indo-Nepal border along the eight districts of Uttar Pradesh –– Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bahraich, Shravasti, Balrampur, Sidharth Nagar, Maharajganj and Kushinagar –– and eight districts of Nepal –– Kanchanpur, Kailali, Banke, Bardia, Dang, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, and Nawalparasi –– play a significant role for the promotion of trade and investment as well as socio-economic and cultural ties between the two countries.
Nepali delegates asked Yadav to also upgrade the Gaurifanta customs and Thutebari customs in the Indian side that will help boost trade with Nepal. The first ever team of Nepali entrepreneurs visiting the Indian state to boost trade and promote tourism jointly between the adjoining areas of the two countries, also held meetings today with the Confederation of Indian Industries, and customs officials and discussed various issues.
The Nepali team is also visiting some industries in Uttar Pradesh.