India-Nepal Joint Commission Meeting Expresses Satisfaction Over Progress of Projects
21 August 2019
The Fifth Meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission was held in Kathmandu, Nepal on 21- 22 August 2019, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Nepal.
Mr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of the Government of India, and Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Nepal, led the country delegations and co-chaired the meeting.
This year’s Joint Commission Meeting was held to review the overall state of bilateral relations, and areas of cooperation. The last meeting took place in New Delhi, India, in October 2016.
Objectives of the meeting included
- A review of India-Nepal bilateral relations, highlighting connectivity and economic partnership; trade and transit; power and water resources sectors; culture, and education;
- Exchange of views on the review of Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950, and submission of the report of the Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations; and
- Discussion of matters related to cooperation in international, regional, and subregional organizations.
The Joint Commission expressed satisfaction over momentum generated in India-Nepal relations, following the exchange of high-level visits in the past two years.
Bilateral projects were discussed. Both delegations expressed satisfaction over the progress of the projects, which include the
- Motihari- Amlekhgunj Petroleum Products Pipeline,
- Four segments of Hulaki Roads,
- Completed post-earthquake reconstruction of private housing in Nuwakot and Gorkha districts
- Cross-border railway projects, including the Jayanagar-Janakpur and Jogbani-Biratnagar sections,
- Integrated Check Post in Biratnagar,
- Raxaul-Kathmandu Electrified Rail Line,
- Inland Waterways; and
- New Partnership in Agriculture.
The Joint Commission agreed to expedite the early completion of remaining agreed projects.
They pledged to conclude the review of treaties and agreements related to the trade, transit, and rail services early. They also agreed to continue upgrading and maintenance of infrastructure and logistic facilities at major border crossing-points tor further facilitate trade and transit between India and Nepal.
Tourism was also highlighted. Both ministers agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector. The campaign “Visit Nepal Year 2020,” will be highlighted.
Nepal’s request for additional air entry routes from India to Nepal was tackled. The meeting noted discussions between the civil aviation authorities of both countries, which are underway.
A Memorandum of Understanding on Food Safety and Standards between Department of Food Technology and Quality Control of Nepal and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was also signed and exchanged in the presence of the two Ministers.
In addition, the Government of India handed two checques for the Terai Roads Project and Post-earthquake Reconstruction Project of Nepal.
Mr. Jaishankar, during his visit to Nepal, also paid courtesy calls to Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.