INTERNATIONAL

India will extend more support to SAARC: Sood

Prerana Marasini

It will provide $ 138 million for SAARC Development Fund

KATHMANDU: The Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood has said India is all set to extend more support at the 15th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, to be held in Sri Lanka in August.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Sood said, "India has announced to provide $ 138 million for the SAARC Development Fund (SDF)." As per Nepal's Foreign Secretary, Gyan Chandra Acharya, the SDF would be signed at this summit and be later used in development projects in the SAARC region.

According to Mr. Sood, India would, in a phased manner, extend its support in the areas of telemedicine, tele-education, solar electrification, seed testing, and rainwater harvesting.

Talking about the progress achieved so far, Mr Sood said, "South Asia Universtity, South Asia Food Bank, South Asia Textile and Handicraft Museum are the key projects." India is to handover its chairmanship of the SAARC to Sri Lanka at the 15th Summit.

Mr. Acharya said this year's summit would focus on climate change, food security, rise in petroleum products, among others. From Nepal, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala might attend the Summit, if a new government was not formed within a week, Mr Acharya informed.

A writ petition has been filed against the newly elected Vice President Paramananda Jha for taking oath in Hindi language. The petition filed by advocate Bal Krishna Neupane, said Mr. Jha should take the oath again, but this time in Nepali language. The hearing on the petition would be held on Sunday at the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, nationwide protests continued on Friday against the Vice President's oath-taking in Hindi.

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