Thursday, February 11, 2016

Private sector suggests premier to seek implementation of earlier agreements with India

The private sector has suggested Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to seek assurance of implementation of previous agreements with India during the latter's visit scheduled for next week.
Asking the 'nationalist PM Oli' to focus on improving relations with the southern neighbour and lure more Indian investment into the country, the private sector today at the meeting with him and prominent ministers of his cabinet at PM's official residence Baluwater, also recommended the premier to seek assurance of implementation of Pancheswar Multipurpose Project to harness Nepal’s water resources for the benefit of both the nations and better utilisation of line of credit facility extended by India.
Signing the Mahakali Treaty and Pancheswar Multipurpose Project, more than 2 decade ago, the incumbent premier Oli had then claimed that Nepal would get Rs 130 billion annually from India from the project. However, in last almost 25 years down the line, thousands of cubic metres of water has flown down the Mahakali river but the country has not received a single penny but is reeling under acute shortage of electricity as the power cut has reached 13 hours a day, currently.
Likewise, the country is facing shortage of essential drugs and fuel due to blockade by India since – against the Nepal's right to land-locked country – last four months after the promulgation of Constitution by the Constituent Assembly (CA) on September 23.
Thus, the private sector asked the premier to ensure free and smooth trans-shipment facility for Nepal from India as a land-locked country. Some 20,000 industries have been closed and around 400,000 have been employed due to Indian blockade since last months that created shortage of raw materials and petroleum products through Nepal-India border customs. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is the sole petroleum products suppliers to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). But the IOC has not been supplying petroleum products, according to the agreement saying that it has no orders from Indian government to supply fuel to Nepal.
The visit is also expected to clarify on the bilateral agreements as time and again Nepal has been blocked the essential supplies including petroleum products and medicines despite the bilateral agreements, regional and sub-regional agreements, and global agreements including Nepal's right to land-locked countries.
The premier had invited the private sector for consultation on pertinent issues that need to be raised during his visit to the southern neighbour scheduled from February 19 to 24.
According to Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) president Pashupati Murarka, the prime minister also asked for an integrated proposal from the private sector.
"The government has also identified matters that need to be raised during my visit to India, and we will also integrate the proposal from the private sector during the talks," Murarka quoted the prime minister as saying during the talks with Private sector representatives including FNCCI, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI).
The prime minister also told the private sector that his visit will be focused on improving and strengthening bilateral ties with India. Deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kamal Thapa, finance minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel, commerce minister Deepak Bohara, industry minister Som Prasad Pandey and high-level bureaucrats were present during the meeting.
A 15-member private sector team will also be part of the Prime Minister’s delegation to India. Apart from New Delhi, Oli is also scheduled to visit the economic capital of India, Mumbai.

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