India, Nepal ink seven Agreements

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India and Nepal have inked seven memorandums of understanding (MoU)s including  housing, health, education, cultural heritage and various other fields. The MoUs were signed in the presence of Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, who was on his first  official foreign visit after he became Prime Minister of Nepal.

Signed Agreements are

♦ Post-earthquake reconstruction : An MoU on utilization of USD 250 million Grant component of India’s Assistance package was signed between the two countries. The signatories for this MoU were External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Nepalese counterpart Kamal Thapa.

Under this agreement, four sectors, i.e., housing, health, education and cultural heritage have been identified. In housing, 100 million USD would be utilised for construction of 50,000 houses in 14 severely earthquake affected districts. 50 million USD each would be utilised in health, education and cultural heritage sectors in 31 earthquake affected districts of Nepal.

♦ The MoU for strengthening of road infrastructure : The MoU for strengthening of road infrastructure in the Terai area of Nepal, was signed between Ranjit Rae, Ambassador of India and Arjun Kumar Karki, Secretary, Ministry of Physical Transport of Nepal. It aims at speedy implementation of remaining work on 17 Roads in Terai area of Nepal. 

♦ MoU in the field of performing arts : An  MoU was signed between Nepal Academy of Music and Drama and Sangeet Natak Academy, India which aims to enhance relations between India and Nepal in the field of performing arts through exchanges of experts, exponents, dancers, scholars and intellectuals.

♦ Letters of exchange on Transit Routes : (i) Transit between Nepal and Bangladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor. (ii) Operationalization of Vishakhapatnam Port.

♦ Letters of exchange on Rail Transport : (i) Rail transit facility through Singhabad for Nepal’s Trade with Bangladesh. (ii) Rail transport to and from Vishakhapatnam. 

♦ Inauguration of Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line : It was done by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart. The initial supply of 80 MW would be augmented to 200 MW by October 2016 and 600 MW by December 2017.

♦ Establishment of Eminent Persons Group (EPG) :  The EPG comprises eight members with each country nominating four members, preferably a parliamentarian, a lawyer, an economist and a civil society activist. Its mandate would be to  review bilateral relations and recommend measures including institutional frameworks in order to enhance bilateral ties.

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