HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey today said signing pacts on Power Trade Agreement and Power Development Agreement for Upper Karnali Hydro-power Project were highly likely during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on August 3-4.
Pandey said to mediapersons at his office, “We are hopeful that we’ll have agreements on both PTA and PDA. If not PTA, we would reach an agreement on Upper Karnali Hydro Project.”
According to him, both sides are likely to finalise the draft of these agreements by Friday.
Investment Board Nepal has been negotiating with Indian company GMR, which has to develop the 900 MW project. IBN briefed former energy ministers and energy experts about the state of negotiation and possible deal on Upper Karnali project.
Pandey reiterated that only such projects that would benefit both the countries — PTA, construction of trans-border transmission line and road projects, such as Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track — would figure in the talks.
Pandey said Modi’s visit had a significant political meaning since it would resume political dialogue and contacts between the two countries at the top-most level, which had been disconnected since 1997, when the then Indian prime minister IK Gujral visited Nepal.
According to Pandey, Indian side would seek Nepal’s full support for India in major international forums, including its bid for permanent membership in the UN Security council.
“New Delhi expects to strengthen bilateral ties, assure help to Nepal for development and collaborate in international forums,” he added.
Tentative Day I itinerary
• Indian PM Modi’s special jet to touch down at 10:15am on Sunday
• Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to receive and welcome him upon arrival at VVIP lounge
• Nepali Army to offer Modi guard of honour
• Modi to directly proceed to Hotel Hyatt Regency from TIA
• Foreign Minister Pandey to call on Modi at Hyatt
• Modi to attend an Indian Embassy-hosted luncheon and interact with Nepali business community
• To address the Constituent Assembly in the afternoon
• In the evening, Modi to attend two formal ceremonies: dinner reception organised by Indian Embassy at Hyatt; PM Koirala to host a banquet dinner for Modi at Hotel Soaltee
Tentative Day II itinerary
• To begin his day with a special puja at the Pashupatinath Temple
• To interact with heads of Nepal’s major political parties, before calling on President Ram Baran Yadav at Shital Niwas, where he would attend a lunch to be hosted by President Yadav
• To meet PM Koirala one-on-one at Singha Durbar before sitting for bilateral talks at the same venue
• To interact with select representatives of Nepali business community, including that of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Nepal-India Chambers of Commerce at Hyatt
• May visit Lumbini. Planned visit to Janakpurdham was called off, but if the weather is fine he may still visit Lumbini
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