India urges Nepal to finalise post-quake reconstruction programme

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) India on Monday urged Nepal to finalise its post-earthquake reconstruction programme at the earliest so as to better utilise the 1 billion dollar aid pledged by New Delhi.

“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley encouraged Nepal to finalise its reconstruction programme at the earliest to better utilize the amount pledged by the government of India,” an official statement said after a meeting between Jaitley and visiting Nepalese counterpart Bishnu Prasad Paudel here.

India had pledged 1 billion dollar at a donors’ conference in Kathmandu in June 2015 after the April 25 temblor.

The meeting comes ahead of Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to India later this month, his first tour abroad after assuming office.

The statement said Paudel told Jaitley that Nepal planned to establish a special infrastructure development bank and sought India’s help in this regard.

“The Nepalese finance minister stressed on the long history of shared economic co-operation between the two countries and thanked India for its tremendous assistance to Nepal in its hour of need,” the statement said.

Jaitley expressed the hope that Indian investors, both in public and private sectors, will show interest across all sectors in Nepal, especially power, healthcare and road construction.

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