AsiaBusinessIndiaNepalSAARCSouthern Asia

Nepal, India to sign projects worth $2 bn

Kathmandu, Nov 25 Nepal and India will sign around a dozen pacts worth $2 billion covering sectors like energy, security, tourism and roads during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit for the Saarc summit.

Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Modi will witness the signing of the biggest ever economic cooperation deals in the history of Nepal-India relations.

Modi, who arrives here Tuesday afternoon, will hold bilateral talks with Koirala and discuss a wide range of issues. Nepal’s president will host a dinner in honour of Modi. The Saarc Summit is scheduled Nov 26-27.

One Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a framework agreement under which India will extend a $1 billion Line of Credit to Nepal.

Modi had in August agreed to pledge a soft loan to Nepal to mitigate its energy crisis and infrastructure needs.

The soft loan will be used to construct the Budugandaki hydroelectricity project in central Nepal (installed capacity 1,000 MW), the Mahakali III irrigation project in western Nepal, the Kosi Pump Canal and a multi-lane motorable bridge over the Mahakali river that is expected to ease movement between Uttarakhand in India and western Nepal.

The two prime ministers will also witness the signing ceremony of Project Development Agreement (PDA) of Arun III hydropower project to be executed by Indian promoter, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL).

The project has an installation capacity of 900 ME.

A state-of-the-art Nepal Police Academy will also be built in Kavre district near Kathmandu with Rs.3 billion provided by India.

Nepal and India will sign a framework agreement on tourism cooperation to build a Buddhist circuit linking key Buddhist heritage sites like Lumbini in Nepal – Lord Buddha’s birthplace — and Bodhgaya in India — where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment — among others.

Another MoU on sister city ties between Kathamandu (Nepal) and Varanasi (India), Janakpur (Nepal) and Ayodhya (India) and Lumbini (Nepal) and Bodhgaya (India) will be signed in the presence of Modi and Koirala.

The two leaders will flag off a direct bus service between Kathmandu and New Delhi.

Modi will hand over an India-funded 200-bed trauma centre to Nepal. He will also hand over the keys of an India-gifted advanced light helicopter, Dhruv, to Koirala.

India is gifting a mobile van to check the level of pesticides in food items.

An MoU will also be signed on cooperation in ayurveda between Nepal and Indua.