'Prachanda'-led CPN, 3 other Left parties form Socialist Front Nepal
Nepal PM Pushpakamal Dahal "Prachanda" (file photo)

Kathmandu: Ahead of his visit to India, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda” has said that he would raise long-term power trade issue with New Delhi, hoping that this “bottleneck” will be sorted out and ensure that the Himalayan nation will be a favourable market for its surplus energy.

Prachanda, along with a high-level delegation, will travel to India on Wednesday on a four-day official visit for talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and other leaders to further strengthen the age-old, multifaceted and cordial ties.

This will be the 68-year-old Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) leader’s first bilateral visit abroad after assuming office in December 2022.

“There are some understandings relating to energy with India, which is of long-term interest to Nepal,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

“We will raise some issues relating to long-term power trade with India during my visit,” Prachanda told Nepal’s National News Agency (RSS), according to the government daily Gorkhapatra.

This is what the Nepalese people have been seeking for many years, Prachanda said.

“It is our realisation that if we can’t find out the proper market for energy after our production starts, then big investments won’t come,” said the Prime Minister.

“I think this bottleneck will be sorted out during my visit,” he said adding “We expect that Nepal will get a favourable market.”

Nepal on Sunday decided to allow India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited to develop a second hydropower project in the country.

At present SJVN is developing a 900-MW Arun -III hydroelectric project, a run-of-river located on the Arun River in Eastern Nepal, scheduled to be completed in 2024.

A meeting of the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) chaired by Prime Minister “Prachanda” approved the draft project development agreement (PDA) to be signed with India’s state-owned SJVN to develop the 669-megawatt (MW) Lower Arun Hydropower project in eastern Nepal, an official statement said on Sunday.

“Our main concern for many years is creating an atmosphere for tri-country power trade among Nepal, India and Bangladesh.”

There has been an agreement in principle to supply 50 MW of power to Bangladesh via the Indian grid for the time being, he said.

Besides, I think my visit will pave the way to move forward the matters relating to trade and transit, which has been pending for the past few years, the Prime Minister said.

“We will also move forward with matters relating to constructing a dry port in Dodhara Chadani.”

There are several issues besides these, which we will raise in the national interest of Nepal, he said.

“We will hold constructive dialogue if there is any problem between us,” he said.

The border issues being raised at the peoples’ level and the future of the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) Report. We will try to sort out these issues through diplomatic channels, he added.

“I think both sides are busy with the homework for better outcomes from my visit in the interest of both the countries,” said Prachanda.

On Sunday, he met former premiers, foreign ministers and leaders of different political parties to discuss matters related to his upcoming visit to India, according to his aides.

The Prime Minister said he will also raise the issue of providing air routes to Nepal during the bilateral talks.

“We are seriously discussing the matter regarding the air route and we are expecting some positive outcome on the issue,” he added.

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During his visit, the prime minister is also scheduled to pay a courtesy call to President Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The prime minister is also scheduled to visit Ujjain and Indore, Madhya Pradesh before returning to Kathmandu on June 3.

Also Read | Need to do home-work before visiting India: Nepal PM Prachanda 

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