Want to know new Nepal government’s priorities: India

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New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with his Nepalese counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” on Friday, India on Thursday said that it would like to know the priorities of the new dispensation that is in place in Kathmandu.

“Primarily the reason for this visit is for us to meet and greet the new Prime Minister of Nepal and to understand from him first hand what are the priorities of the Nepalese government in terms of development, reconstruction,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.

He said that India has offered assistance of $1 billion following the devastating earthquake in April last year “of which very little has been utilised”.

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“The idea is for us to meet Prachanda, to convey to him our continued interest in the stability, peace and prosperity of Nepal and to learn from him first hand what are his developmental priorities,which are the areas he wants to focus on and where Indian assistance can provide the maximum benefit to the people and government of Nepal,” Swarup said.

Prachanda arrived here on Thursday on a four-day visit to India.

The new Maoist-led government in Nepal assumed power early last month after the ouster of K.P. Sharma Oli as Prime Minister.

After the talks between Modi and Prachanda on Friday, the two sides are expected to sign some agreements.

During the course of his stay here, the visiting dignitary will also hold meetings with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal apart from calling on President Pranab Mukherjee.

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On Friday evening, he will attend a joint business event organised by Assocham.

On Saturday, he will visit the Nathpa Jhakri hydro power project on the Sutlej river in Himachal Pradesh before returning to Nepal on Sunday.



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