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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2678

Nepal PM in Delhi for five-day official visit

[caption id="attachment_4332" align="alignright" width="460" caption="Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal "]Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal [/caption]

Kosh R. Koirala from Nepal

Kathmandu, 19 August, ( Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal is currently in India for a five-day official visit.

Prime Minister Nepal left for India on Tuesday along with 63-member jumbo team comprising cabinet ministers, senior bureaucrats, businessmen and journalists.

However, Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala decided at the eleventh hour to strike her name off the prime minister’s delegation list saying that she was unwell with ‘vomiting’, and ‘diarrhea.’

Upon reaching Delhi on Tuesday afternoon, the prime minister busied himself with several meetings including with senior leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sita Ram Yechuri.

The prime minister is scheduled to begin official bilateral negotiations with Indian leaders Wednesday morning and will attend a banquet hosted by Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, in the evening.

The prime minister is expected to finalize and sign three treaties -- on trade, investment protection and avoidance of double taxation—with India during the visit.

The Trade Treaty, which will basically upgrade the existing treaty, is expected to exempt Nepali exports from all sorts of non-tariff barriers and other additional duties and thus provide an impetus to the sluggish Nepali export to the Indian market.

Currently, Nepal suffers a huge trade imbalance with India that has doubled in the last five years to over Rs 108 billion—a whopping 16 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

Officials said India and Nepal are also likely to push forward the DPR process of the Pancheshwar Project, but they are unlikely to put anything concrete on paper because of lack of political consensus in Nepal over the project.

Earlier, before flying to New Delhi, the prime minister assured that he would not sign any "unequal" treaty with India. The prime minister said he would sign two treaties -- Trade Treaty and Treaty to Control Unauthorized Trade -- with India only if both the countries agree on the provisions of the treaties.

- Asian Tribune -

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