Interest in Nepal’s hydel potential natural: Rae

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KATHMANDU, JUL 23 –

Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae has said India’s interest in Nepal’s abundant hydropower potential is only natural as his country needs energy to fuel its economic growth.

India needs 800,000 megawatt energy for another 25 years, he said at a programme organised in the Capital on Tuesday.

Trying to refute recent media reports about India’s lopsided proposal on cooperation in hydropower and energy, Rae said energy cooperation and trade are possible only between two sovereign nations as per a bilateral agreement.

“India has forwarded a proposal to Nepal and I hope that after negotiations we can reach a win-win situation,” he said.

Energy ministries from both the sides will sit and arrive at an understanding,

he told an interaction organised by the South Asian Study Center. Rae noted that Nepal and India have several thematic mechanisms but they do not have one on energy trade.

The neighbours have been involved in energy cooperation for six decades, he observed, but no tangible progress had been made so far. Ambassador Rae said that a strong government in New Delhi will give a momentum for energy cooperation.

Source : The Kathmandu Post

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Rae says India ready to review hydel draft

KATHMANDU: Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Ranjit Rae, on Wednesday said that India is ready to review the proposed draft of agreement about hydropower development in Nepal in mutual consensus.

Speaking at an interaction at the Reporters’ Club in Kathmandu today, the Ambassador said the two countries can settle the disputed issues through a discussion.

“The proposal is not our final version,” Rae said. “We are ready to review the draft after discussions with Nepali authority.”

The Ambassador was of the view that both countries can get benefits from the proposed agreement on ‘Cooperation in Power Sector’.

It is a right time to sign the contract, also because both nations have stable governments currently, Rae added.

He, however, stressed on the need to reach a political consensus among national stakeholders and consider sovereignty of both nations before finalising the agreement.

Stressing that the Indo-Nepal relation is ‘unique’, the envoy said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal, expected in August, would further strengthen the bilateral relations.

He also informed that the visit of Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, scheduled for later this week, would set the grounds for Modi’s visit scheduled for next month.

On the occasion, Vice-Chairperson of CPN-UML Bhim Rawal expressed his hope that the proposed visit of Indian premier may take the Indo-Nepal relations to a new height.

He suggested the government to make the hydropower deal with India through consensus.

“We will not object to making the contract for the benefit of both nations,” Rawal said. “The government can proceed, after forging consensus among other national actors.”

UCPN-Maoist leader Ram Karki, however, suggested that problems may arise if the government begins large scale hydro projects before the promulgation of a new constitution.

Stating that politics and diplomacy should go together, the foreign affairs expert of the Maoist party claimed that his party is not against hydropower development in Nepal.

Speaking at the function, Chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Pashupati Shumsher Rana and former Minister for Foreign Affairs Bhekh Bahadur Thapa suggested the government to grab the opportunity for national interests, rather than making controversies.

Source : The Himalayan Times