Nepal PM embarks on 4-day India visit

Kathmandu: Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, leading a 125-member delegation, on Thursday left for a four-day state visit to New Delhi at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

This is his first foreign visit after Dahal was elected in August.

Dahal is being is accompanied by his wife, Sita, two ministers, senior Nepal government officials, media team and member of the Nepali business community.

On the top of the agenda, his meeting with Modi is scheduled for Friday at the Hyderabad House which will be followed by signing some agreements and a joint press briefing.

According to Rishiraj Adhikari, Foreign Relations Advisor to Dahal, a breakthrough is expected on an agreement on long pending Panchewhwor Hydro Project in Nepal that has installation capacity of 48,00 mw.

Nepal and India had jointly agreed to develop this project in 1996 but no progress has been made due to some outstanding issues.

The Prime Minister will seek Indian`s support to build another 400 mw hydro power plant in Nepal, Adhikari added.

Officials told IANS that a $1 billion soft loan and grant for the reconstruction of damaged structures in Nepal, will also be discussed.

Proposal on feasibility study of east-west electric rail in Nepal, building an 80 km long Buddhist circuit linking key heritage sites between Nepal and India were also in the agenda.

Several others agendas like growing trade deficit with India, construction of a sub station for trading energy between Nepal and India, aid for second phase for construction of Postal road in Nepal`s southern plain will also be discussed.

Both sides will commit to review and update all bilateral agreements and pacts through the Eminent Person`s Group which has already met in Kathmandu once.

Dahal will also visit Himanchal Pradesh to inspect one hydro power plant before his return to Nepal.