Following up with its $1 billion package to Bangladesh, India on Tuesday offered a $250-million line of credit to Nepal. It also extended a massive 80,000 tonnes of essentials, mainly food grains, to Nepal.
The offer was made during Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav’s interactions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here.
Dr. Yadav expressed “deep gratitude” at India’s consistent support for Nepal’s economic development, said official sources.
India had committed Rs. 2,000 crore to Nepal that includes Rs. 805 crore to improve roads in the country’s Terai (plains) area, where the infrastructure is extremely weak. In addition, there are nearly 30 medium and large projects under various stages of implementation.
India is also taking up 335 grass roots-level projects in areas such as health, education and community development.
Both sides also signed four pacts on setting up new railway links, an updated air services accord, a polytechnic and construction of a new convention hall.
With Nepal reeling under the impact of high prices, India had offered to provide it with 50,000 tonnes of wheat, 20,000 tonnes of rice and 10,000 tonnes of yellow peas. It would also supply an additional 2,000 tonnes of wheat, if need be, said the sources.
During delegation-level talks, Dr. Singh expressed the hope that the peace process and the drafting of the Constitution would be completed as per schedule. He underlined India’s unique and special relationship that had stood the test of time.
Dr. Yadav is on a four-day state visit, his first to a foreign country after becoming the President in mid-2008.
The Nepalese President opened his official engagements with a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. It was followed by a visit to Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.
He also interacted with Vice President Hamid Ansari, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.