Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by airtel, Nov 22, 2016.
Why there is no thread about Nepal ?? it deserve a separate thread.
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Nepal cancels $ 1 billion expressway project with Indian firm
Kathmandu, Nov 21, 2016, PTI
Nepal has abruptly cancelled all agreements with Indian construction firm ILFS to build a USD one billion expressway project, connecting the Nepalese capital with the southern Terai region near the Indian border.
The surprise move to cancel the agreements with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd to build 76-km-long expressway came yesterday after a meeting of the Development and Finance Committees of Legislature-Parliament.
Minister for Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, Ramesh Lekhak said the government would now complete the fast-track road with domestic resources.
"Now all bodies concerned should make decision standing together in course of taking the nation's pride project ahead," Lekhak was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post.
He said the government has tabled a proposal with the Cabinet for constructing the road with own investment.
The fast-track road would connect Kathmandu to Nijgadh in the southern Terai region, where a new international airport has been planned.
ILFS had already prepared a detailed report for the project that would have reduced the travel time from Kathmandu to Nijgadh to under an hour.
According to a feasibility report prepared by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2014, the road project was estimated to cost USD 960 million. The latest DPR has given a price tag of USD 1,117 million, reports have said.
During the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction held in June last year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had asked the Himalayan country to allow India to develop the fast-track road and the international airport in Nijgadh.
Previously, the KP Sharma Oli government had decided that the road project would be constructed by Nepal, instead of providing the contract to the Indian company.
Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara yesterday expressed commitment to ensure funds for "national pride projects" including the Tarai-Madhesh fast track and the Nijgadh international airport.
"The problem, however, is not lack of funds but inability to spend it. The problem in capital expenditure has not improved," he said.
Chairperson of Development Committee Rabindra Adhikari, Chair of Finance Minister Prakash Jwala, member Surendra Bahadur Pandey, Keshav Badal and others spoke of the need for unity among all the political parties to move ahead with the Nijgadh International Airport project and the Kathmandu-Tarai fast-track road project.
They suggested the government to allocate all the unspent budget every fiscal year for the fast-track road project and complete it in a fast-track manner, the report said.
Uncertainty over fate of demonetized Indian notes fuels illegal exchange
November 19, 2016 00:30 AM , Sagar Ghimire
Some are offering Rs 500 for IRs 500
KATHMANDU, Nov 19: When India Prime Minister Narendra Modi withdrew the legal tender of Indian 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes on November 8, it was meant to curb 'black money' and corruption, but the move itself has ironically created a new black market -- illegal exchange of those notes held in Nepal.
The logic behind the Modi's move was that as people exchanging them at authorized bank outlets would have to furnish satisfactory source of earnings and other details, the people who made money through corruption and other illegal ways would be the only ones left standing with the notes. However, India has not yet said if people outside the country who can prove the 500 and 1,000-rupee Indian banknotes they have in their possession were accumulated through legally-recognized means would be provided the same legal exchange facility as those in India at a later date.
This has caused Nepalis with demonetized Indian 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes to be hyper-anxious, and afraid that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) might not honor the promise it made in its notes. Those not wanting to run the risk that the banknotes they have will end up not being worth the material they're printed on, they are accepting much lower rates for those notes offered in the black market.
IRs 500 should fetch Rs 800 in Nepali currency, according to the official exchange rate fixed by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). However, black marketers are offering to buy Indian banknotes of 500 and 1,000-rupee denominations at a 1:1 rate, i.e. Rs 500 Nepali for Rs 500 Indian.
The black marketers, who also hold bank accounts in India, accept such demonetized currency and take it to India for exchange.
Some of the members at Nepal Investors Forum's WhatsApp are offering the exchange facility in the group messages. Three messages that Republica reviewed showed these members saying that they would accept any sum of such demonetized Indian banknotes.
Considering the ban that the NRB imposed on exchange of 1,000 and 500 Indian rupee bills last Wednesday, such transactions are illegal.
"Anyone want to change 500 or 1,000? Will give Rs 500 NC for IRs 500," reads one of the messages of a member at of the WhatsApp group.
Arjun Thapa, who runs a garment shop in Sundhara, told Republica that he, as well as many other traders that he know, have sold Indian currencies of 1,000 and 500 denominations as there was still uncertainty over the fate of such notes. “Many traders have sold the stocks of Indian currencies suffering huge loss. There are some who are still holding the demonetized Indian banknotes with the hope that the government would eventually provide them some way out,” Thapa added.
According to Thapa, most of the shops around Sundhara area accept Indian currency from Indian tourists who come to buy cheaper Chinese garments, shoes and other electronic appliances. He told Republica that he knows some traders who have bank accounts in India and buy India currency at cheaper rate.
The illegal exchange of Indian currency is also becoming rampant in the bordering districts like Parsa, Banke, Nawalparasi, Kanchanpur and Rupandehi, among other districts, according to Republica's district correspondents.
Earlier on Monday, Indian daily Times of India reported that 1,000 banknotes were being exchanged for 600 in Nepali currency in Raxaul.
Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) President Pashupati Murarka told Republica that they have heard that some businesspersons in border areas have exchanged demonetized banknotes at lower rates. “There are fears among people that the Indian banknotes in their possession would not be exchanged. So, some of them have exchanged such banknotes with the help of their relatives in the other side of the border at 5 to 10 percent lower rates," Murarka told Republica. “But such cases are very few."
The illegal exchange of Indian banknotes is likely to make Indian government further suspicious, say observers. The Indian government seems to be reluctant to exchange the Indian banknotes held by Nepalis as it is concerned that black money could reach Indian again through Nepal.
NRB officials also do not rule out illegal exchange of Indian banknotes.
"We have also heard about such transactions. So, we have issued instruction to our regional offices to keep vigil over such transactions and take needful legal action in coordination with the local administration,” Bhisma Raj Dhungana, executive director at the Foreign Exchange Department of the NRB, told Republica.
"However, we have not received any complaint or evidence of such transactions yet. Since Indian banknotes of 1,000 and 500 denominations have been withdrawn from financial system, they cannot be used for any transactions. We have already issued ban on exchange of such notes," he added.
Dhungana also appealed to the public to not rush to exchange the Indian banknotes in their possession as the two governments have held highest-level talks to resolve the issue.
Though the Indian government has formed a committee to look into the issue of demonetized Indian banknotes that Nepal and Bhutan hold, it is still unsure whether the public will be provided exchange facility for Indian currency that they possess legally.
According to the central bank, nearly 33.6 million worth of Indian rupee bills of 1,000 and 500 bills are in the banking channel. However, there is no exact figure about such banknotes in possession of traders, families of migrant workers in India and general public.
FNCCI President Murarka estimates that there could be nearly Rs 10 billion worth of Indian currency outside the banking channel.
I wish this could be moved to the DEMONETIZATION thread. There I made points like
1) legal tender - entire monetary system depends on trust in that piece of paper as a medium of exchange
2) the road to hell is paved with good will - how it hurts "small guys" instead of "corruption" or "black money" in the parallel economy it's alleged to target.
3) internationalization of the currency (in INR case regionalization)
4) a bad economic policy
and so on.
My feel is there're many who actually empathize but are hijacked by the so-called "correctness" or just groupthink.
i sure , RBI will do something for them ..................
if the dont do ..............then also Nepali People can change these notes via their relatives in India ...............Nepali people can cross Borders without passport / visa , & their daughters & sons are married to Indian citizens ..............Lakhs of Nepali citizens are working in India .
I am sure RBI will take care of them .
and yes this is a good Economic policy beneficial for Indians ..
what about our friend BHUTAN seperate thred.. i mean bhutan role in india and india development in bhutan
Nepal-China military drill worries India
Sachin Parashar| TNN | Updated: Dec 27, 2016, 01.05 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal has been performing a balancing act between India and China, but Kathmandu's proposed first joint military exercise with Beijing early next year has triggered considerable unease in New Delhi.
The decision discomfits India as it seeks to put a rocky patch in relations with Nepal during the tenure of K P Oli behind it and look forward to a new chapter with Prachanda at the helm.
Nepal's ambassador to India Deep Upadhyay sought to play down the significance of the exercise, named 'Pratikar', and said the military engagement would be on a very "small scale" and that there was nothing for India to be worried about. "There's really not much in it," Upadhyay said.
"We have done similar exercises with some other countries, too, in the past to be able to deal with the Maoists," Nepal's ambassador to India Deep Upadhyay told TOI. "Whichever way you look at it, Nepal has a special relationship with India and that's not going to change because of any such exercise."
The exercise is meant to help Nepal with counter-terror operations. India, however, has been conducting such anti-terror joint exercises annually with Nepal for a decade. Nepal's deciding to go ahead with a similar exercise with China is likely to add another layer of complexity to India's ties with both Nepal and China, not discounting Prachanda's efforts to restore Nepal's ties with India after he took over from Oli.
According to the foreign ministry, India's defence ties with Nepal comprise military educational exchanges, joint exercises, and supplies of military stores and equipment. That's not all though. Military ties between the two countries are so inextricably intertwined that over 32,000 Nepalese Gorkhas continue to serve in Indian Army and Nepal is home to over 1.2 lakh ex-servicemen - and their dependants - who draw pension from India.
The news about Nepal's proposed joint exercise comes only a month after the visit to Nepal by Indian Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag. His trip was meant to build upon the warmth in ties since Prachanda took over and also to assure Nepal that India remained committed to capacity-building of Nepal's army.
Reacting to the development on Nepal's military engagement with Beijing, China's Global Times warned India on Monday that it was neither realistic nor possible for India to always regard Nepal as its backyard and put pressure on Sino-Nepalese cooperation.
"If the Sino-Nepalese joint military exercise is implemented, this will enhance bilateral relations. Security cooperation can strengthen mutual trust and promote bilateral cooperation. In the future, Nepal and China may establish normalised and institutionalised security framework. Meanwhile, the Sino-Nepalese relationship can set a good example for surrounding countries, thus further enhancing China's cooperation with countries in South Asia,'' it said in an op-ed piece.
While the article argued China's security ties with Nepal were not aimed at any third country, Indian officials said China's military links with Nepal do not really help India at a time when the government is struggling to check Chinese presence in the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region in POK as part of its economic corridor with Pakistan. Despite having publicly maintained that it wasn't acting against India's interests, Beijing has shown little regard for the government's concerns over the corridor which passes through Indian territory.
Next door Nepal: Distant neighbours
President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Narendra Modi welcoming Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari during her ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan. (Source: PTI Photo)
The official response of Nepal to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s Delhi visit was the same as always: “It has been a grand success,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, who was a member of the entourage. But despite such positive inferences, India-Nepal relations have suffered many ups and downs in recent years, especially in the past one decade, resulting in India losing clout and credibility in Nepal. That naturally calls for serious introspection into what has gone wrong in the relations along with corrective measures to address them, especially during high-level bilateral visits.
In other words, the two sides routinely talk about civilisational commonalities, culture, religion and people-to-people relations binding them “together”, but rarely go deeper into the current state of bilateral relations marred by a trust deficit. Bhandari’s visit to Delhi, her first since becoming president in October last, failed to impress on either side that a serious effort was needed to repair the frayed relations. It seems the Modi government has not fully realised the impact of the policy that President Pranab Mukherjee as External Affairs Minister in the UPA government pursued in Nepal.
It facilitated the Maoists and their radical agenda taking the centrestage in Nepali politics while gradually sidelining the moderate and traditional political forces. This policy is today seen as the main reason for the fragmentation of Nepali politics. The failure on the part of Nepali actors to prepare a constitution involving all the political sections has only prolonged the transition process. Both Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi have reiterated that India’s stance is for the “peace, stability and prosperity of Nepal”, suggesting that “having all sides on board is a pre-requisite to achieve that objective”. But that has proved to be something easier said than done. However, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs V.K. Singh was less diplomatic when he told President Bhandari that India was different from its other friends, and that there were no strings attached to whatever help India extended to Nepal.
President Bhandari’s departure to Delhi coincided with the ten-day long Nepal-China joint military exercise, the first in history, in Kathmandu. China has promised continuity and support to the Nepal army in combating terrorism, and for keeping peace. General Singh”s message was clear: India is keen to do more to mend its relationship with the Nepal army, which got offended when the government of India stopped supply of arms and ammunition as part of its overtures to the Maoists to join the “peace process”. The Nepal army was then fighting the Maoists.
Maoists, in Modi’s words, may have given up “yuddha” to embrace the “Buddha”, but they are largely responsible for the prevailing political instability, and the resultant erosion in the authority of the state. The continued instability and loss of credibility of the Nepalese state, and the failure of the “India-mediated and influenced political agenda” of 2005, has also created a legitimate space for other countries, mainly China, to enter Nepal as a stakeholder. In Beijing’s perception, China is as concerned about Nepal’s peace, stability and prosperity as India. The first Chinese military exercise, most likely to be followed by Nepal joining the One Belt, One Road initiative soon, is seen as an indication of the events to come.
The onus of restoring India’s credibility in Nepal falls on the likes of General Singh and his officials in the Ministry of External Affairs. It will require an objective assessment of where and how things went wrong, when India chose to recognise “Maoist revolutionaries” as the true representatives of Nepali people.
First ever joint military training : landmark on China-Nepal defense cooperation
Maj Gen Binod Kumar Shrestha of Nepal Army shakes hands with the participants of Nepal-China joint military drill.
KATHMANDU, April 17 (Nepal Foreign Affairs)–The first ever Nepal-China special forces joint military training has been launched here in Kathmandu on Sunday.
The ten-day joint military training named ‘Sagarmatha Friendship-2017’ was inaugurated by Nepal Army’s Major General Binod Kumar Shrestha amidst a special ceremony at Maharajgunj-based training school of in the Capital.
Addressing the function, Shrestha said that the joint training between the Nepali Army (NA) and People’s Liberation of Army (PLA) will add a new avenue in their friendly ties as well as enhancing their professional capacities.
Highlighting the historic mutual ties between the People’s Liberation Army and Nepali Army, Colonel of the Chinese PLA YANG Shumeng expressed belief that such kind of joint military training helps to enhance capabilities in counter-terrorism and strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Senior army officials of the Nepali Army, Defense Attaché at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, instructors, trainers, trainees and cadets from Nepali and People’s Liberation Army attended the opening ceremony.
A Army Spokesman, Jhankar Bahadur Kadayat, said that the joint training will be focused on counter terrorism and disaster response.
Observers said that the joint military training with China marks NA’s extension of military diplomacy.
The Nepali Army has long been conducting joint military drills with Indian and American armies.
“A small Chinese troop is participating in the first ever training with an equal number of Nepali Army personnel,” the army spokesman added.
The Nepali Army said in a press release that the joint military training with China is a step towards preparations against the possible threat from terrorism.
“The training with China is a part of its regular bilateral and multilateral military exercises with an objective of sharing experiences, skills and professional knowledge which it has been doing regularly with the nations that Nepal shares diplomatic ties,” the Army Headquarters said in its press statement.
The joint military training concludes on April 25.
Participants of Nepal-China joint military exercise pose for photograph. Photo: Nepal Army
The visiting Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan (L4) holds talks with Nepal's State Minister of Defense Bal Krishna Khand (R4) in Katmandu, capital of Nepal, on March 23, 2017, local time.
Nepal's Prime Minister Prachanda (R) meets with the visiting Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan (L2) in Katmandu, capital of Nepal, on March 23, 2017, local time.
Nepal to sign pact with China on One Belt, One Road initiative
Nepal will sign a framework agreement to become part of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative ahead of the Belt and Road Forum to be held in Beijing next week.
Updated: May 08, 2017 21:56 IST
Nepal has decided to become part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and will sign a framework agreement on the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) programme this week, reflecting Beijing’s increasing clout in Kathmandu.
A cabinet meeting on Monday decided to sign the framework agreement on OBOR ahead of the Belt and Road Forum to be held in Beijing during May 14-15.
“Nepal has decided to sign an agreement on OBOR that will link Nepal to India and Europe,” information and communication minister Surendra Karki said after the meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”.
A delegation led by deputy prime minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who also holds the finance portfolio, will participate in the Belt and Road Forum in China. He will be accompanied by two more ministers and senior officials.
Ahead of the conference, foreign secretary Shankar Das Bairagi and the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Yu Hong, will sign the framework agreement on OBOR in the presence of foreign minister Prakash Sharan Mahat this week.
During the conference in Beijing, the Nepalese delegation will sign a separate memorandum of understanding on OBOR.
During his recent visit to China, Prachanda had assured the Chinese leadership that Nepal will become part of the Belt and Road Initiative ahead of the conference in Beijing. Following this, Nepalese and Chinese officials held negotiations on issues such as free trade, currency arrangement, financial institutions and investment.
After the framework agreement is inked, Nepal will negotiate with China on various intricacies of OBOR, including connectivity, trade regime and investment.
A signature initiative of President Xi Jinping, OBOR aims to enhance connectivity and cooperation between China and the rest of Asia and Europe through land and maritime routes. Beijing had sent a draft proposal on OBOR to Nepal late last year. After a month-long consultation, Nepal sent back a revised version of the draft to China.
please thank the commune of baboons of India for killing of a pro Indian Kingdom and replacing it with a maoist infested shithole of a republic
India displaced China from the list of Nepal's top development partners.
Beijing was ranked 4th last year as a development partner in terms of ODA disbursement to Nepal
Nepal finance ministry's latest Development Cooperation Report on FY 2015/16 puts India at the 5th position behind US, UK, Japan and Switzerland in the list of top ODA disbursers. In FY 2014/15, for the first time in 5 years, India's name had gone missing from the list of top 5 development partners of Nepal as its ODA disbursement had plummeted by over 50 per cent that FY.
According to the latest report, India disbursed US $ 35.76 million from July 16 2015 to July 15 2016 to claim its place among the top 5 bilateral development partners of Nepal. This is 3.33 per cent of total ODA received by Nepal in the year. China in the same period accounted for 3.29 per cent of the overall ODA to Nepal.
In the previous FY, 2014/15, India had disbursed a little over $22 million. China had in the same year disbursed $ 37.95 million to knock India out of the list of Nepal's top 5 development partners.
According to the report, the top 5 bilateral development partners for FY 2015/16 are the USAID (US$ 118.93 million), United Kingdom (US$ 89.47 million), Japan (US$ 45.91 million), Switzerland (US$ 36.98 million) and India (US$35.76 million).
Like in the previous year, the latest report acknowledges again that India, China and Korea also provide technical assistance to Nepal through scholarships, training and study tour conducted in their countries and which is not fully reflected in the total volume of assistance.
China's ascendancy in the list last year, which came at the expense of India, caused a mini controversy here with MEA going all out to prove that the figure of $ 22 million (India's aid disbursement in FY 2014/15) was misleading and that it "totally distorted the picture.
According to MEA, actual funds released to assist Nepal annually are in the range of Rs 300 to 400 crore annually, or over $50 to $70 million. The discrepancy last year was attributed to the fact that a large part of the aid is not routed through the Nepalese treasury.
India also mentioned last year that it had committed $1,400 million for Nepal's earthquake reconstruction work as against China's $766 million. Nepal counted UK, US, Japan, China and Switzerland as its top 5 bilateral development partners in FY 2014/15 on the basis of disbursement, leaving out India from the list for the first time in past 5 years.
China though continues to retain its formidable presence in Nepal as it accounted for as much as 68 per cent of all FDI pledged for Nepal in the first half of ongoing fiscal year (2016/17). This was a massive jump from China's 40 per cent share of the total FDI pledged for Nepal by various countries in 2015-16.
Ironically, India's re-emergence in the list of Nepal's top development partners comes at a time when Nepal has officially agreed to become a part of China's ambitious, but contentious, OBOR project.
According to Nepal media reports, a cabinet meeting of the Nepal government on Monday took a decision to sign an agreement to become a part of OBOR during the upcoming OBOR Conference in Beijing.
For a nation which is right next to us and we share so much with being fourth is not a great achievement
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Nepal Formally Joins China's Silk Road Plan Opposed by India
Updated: May 13, 2017, 8:17 AM IST
Nepal's Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi and China's Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong (L) exchange documents during a signing ceremony relating to the One Belt One Road initiative in Kathmandu on May 12, 2017. (Image: Getty Images)
Kathmandu: Nepal has formally inked a major deal with China to join President Xi Jinping's ambitious 'One Belt One Road' initiative to link Asia with Europe, a move that could raise concerns in India.
The long-discussed deal between Nepal and its much bigger neighbour comes just days before China hosts a summit for 28 leaders near Beijing on May 14 and 15, showcasing the ambitious plan.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong and Nepal's Foreign Secretary Shankar Bairagi signed an MoU at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat were present during the signing ceremony.
"This agreement will bring Nepal and China closer through road connectivity and bring home the Chinese investment," Mahat said.
"With the signing of the MoU, a new chapter has begun in the area of foreign investment and trade promotion," he said, adding Nepal would reap benefits from the Chinese project which would expand to Europe and Africa. "Nepal needs the maximum investment and we want Chinese investment channelled in Nepal through this new project."
"Nepal would benefit from this important project initiated by China and that this should be taken as a significant achievement of Nepal's development endeavour," Bairagi said.
Yu expressed hope that the project would contribute to enhancement of China-Nepal cooperation as well as to the economic development of the South Asia region itself.
The One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR) spearheaded by President Xi Jinping would see 60 percent of the global population and around a third of global GDP-linked through a network of Chinese-bankrolled ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.
The deal will see China plough money into Nepal for a series of projects including boosting its road network, power grid and a new railway connecting the capital Kathmandu with Lhasa in Tibet.
Nepal signing the deal with China may cause concerns in India, which has opposed Beijing's initiative. India has reservations over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of the OBOR, as it is proposed to pass through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
India, which has traditionally enjoyed great economic and political ties with Nepal, has faced increasing competition from China in recent years.
Landlocked Nepal relies heavily on imports from India and completely on Indian ports for sea access.
Analysts have also expressed concerns over the Asian giant's attempt to take a lead in global commerce, cautioning that an integrated world trade system where China's Communist party sets the rules could come with serious risks and hidden costs.
New York-based Fitch Ratings said that political motivations might trump "genuine infrastructure needs and commercial logic", leading to "a heightened risk of projects proving unprofitable".
Struggling countries could be saddled with Chinese loans requiring payment regardless of project performance, Fitch Ratings said.
Good luck to Nepal. You'll need it.
Looks like Nepal is going SL way.
Nepal bans New Rs.500 & Rs.2000 Indian notes
Nepal Rastra Bank on Thursday banned the use of India’s new currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. The currencies which were recently issued in India by the Reserve Bank o India after demonetising Rs.500 and Rs.1000 old notes were termed as “unauthorised and illegal”.
NRB spokesperson Narayan Poudel said these new currency notes are not yet legal in Nepal. Nepal is the country where Indians can travel without a passport and Indian currency is accepted in most of the places. Because of these reasons, Nepal has always attracted lot of Indian tourists.
Poudel said these notes will be legal in Nepal only when India issues a FEMA notification as per the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Considering the fact that lot of Indians travel to Nepal every year, India is likely to issue a FEMA notification, allowing people in Nepal and India to possess certain amount of Indian currency.
The ban against the previous higher denominations that existed in Nepal were old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes which was lifted after PM Narendra Modi visited Nepal.
Nepal last year allowed people to carry Indian Rupees of higher denominations up to Indian Rs 25,000.
There is a reason why Nepalis don't like us; regular Congress intervention in their personal affairs for decades.
India, Nepal to sign MoUs worth $250m during Deuba's Delhi visit
Indrani Bagchi| TNN | Aug 21, 2017, 07:30 PM IST
NEW DELHI: As Nepal's new Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba arrives here on his first visit this week, Nepal wants India to devote the full-spectrum attention that New Delhi has showered on Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Afghanistan.
Deuba will be here between August 23-27, and India and Nepal will headline a "partnership". An MEA statement announcing the visit said, "India-Nepal partnership has witnessed significant growth in all areas of cooperation. The upcoming visit will provide an opportunity to both the sides for holding wide-ranging discussions on issues of mutual interest."
Twenty years after the same Deuba signed the Mahakali treaty with India, both countries are hoping they will finally get it off the ground. The Nepal government is expected to announce some key clearances this week to greenlight three big ticket investments, Pancheshwar, Arun III and Upper Karnali projects - all these projects have been hanging fire for years, hobbled by poor decisions on both Indian and Nepali sides.
Last year, Nepal's power woes were alleviated somewhat with India giving electricity to the Kathmandu valley. This week, India plans to inaugurate two more transmission points at Raxaul-Parwanipur and Kushaha-Kattaiya, to give more electricity. These are part of six transmission lines on the border at Muzzafarpur-Dhalkepar, Kushaha-Kattaiya, Raxaul-Parwanipur, New Butwol-Gorakhpur, Nepalgunj-Lucknow and Purnea. When Nepal is in a position to export electricity, these lines can be used to export electricity to India.
India and Nepal are slated sign four MOUs worth $250 million that will finally make use of the $1 billion reconstruction assistance India had pledged after the earthquake. Nepal needed to amend its own laws to set up a nodal body to handle these reconstruction projects, which will be in the areas of housing, education, health and cultural heritage. Another $750 million will be given through lines of credit. India will promise the Postal Road through the Terai which will now be done by contractors from Nepal. In its earlier iteration, the Terai roads project ran aground on land acquisition issues, corruption etc.
The real problem in Nepal is its politics, and the fact that there are too many Indian players who have a role in Nepal's political landscape. Deuba wants the Madhesi Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP) to participate in the provincial elections in Province 2 on September 18. India has asked the Madhesi parties to participate in the provincial elections, with the result that Madhesis are resentful of India and Kathmandu alike. Meanwhile, KP Oli is consolidating his support base on an anti-India platform. China is also trying to bring together Prachanda and Oli which could create a stronger left-leaning, China-friendly political establishment. To complicate matters, Nepal commentators are convinced the BJP government here want to make Nepal a "Hindu kingdom" again, which complicates India's engagement with Nepal. Indian officials who have dealt with Nepal however say India is in a position of "damned if we do, and damned if we don't" - that despite all India's efforts India will never win the perception game in Nepal.
Last year, India issued guidelines allowing the import of hydroelectricity generated from only those projects that have at least 51% share of the Indian government or companies. This move was clearly aimed at discouraging other countries, particularly China, from investing in Nepal's hydropower projects. Nepal resents this, seeing it as a violation of the 2013 power-trade agreement with India.
As China makes inroads into Nepal, India is trying to push back and Nepal is trying to play the non-aligned game. Nepal has remained silent on the current Doklam issue and will possibly remain so during Deuba's visit. Last week, Chinese vice premier, Wang Yang who visited Kathmandu at around the same time that Sushma Swaraj did, promised to complete a rail track from Shigatse to Kerung near Nepal-China border by 2020. China has also promised to provide 1 billion RMB and technical expertise for the reconstruction of Kodari Highway.
Bhutanese journalist slams Indian magazine for biased report helping China
Separate names with a comma.