Nepal‚ India to sign final PTA tomorrow

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    PTA-1KATHMANDU: Nepal and India are all set to put the final seal on the Power Trade Agreement on Tuesday, which will pave the way for the two countries to formally engage in trading of electricity.

    The final Agreement on Electric Power Trade, Cross-Border Transmission Interconnection and Grid Connectivity would be signed by Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshatri on behalf of Nepal and Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha on behalf of India.

    “The agreement would be signed at the Ministry of Energy on Tuesday at around 11 am,” MoE Spokesperson Keshav Dhoj Adhikari said.

    Nepal and India had put the initials on the power trade deal on September 4 in the Indian capital of New Delhi. The signatures on the preliminary agreement were laid based on the agreement reached between the two countries during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in the first week of August.

    The preliminary deal was endorsed by the Nepali Cabinet on September 18, while India’s Union Cabinet extended its approval on September 24.

    Earlier, it was said that the final agreement would be signed in the presence of the prime ministers of the two countries.

    Although the Indian Prime Minister did not have plans to visit Nepal before November’s SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit, a high-ranking MoE official had said Modi could make his presence felt through video conference.

    However, Adhikari today said the ministry does not have any plan of signing the agreement in virtual presence of prime ministers of the two countries.

    Once the final deal is signed, the PTA would finally come into enforcement.

    Implementation of the 25-year agreement, which will be automatically renewed every 10 years, will pave the way for Nepal to purchase electricity from India when production here falls and sell power to the southern neighbour whenever there is a surplus.

    This deal also provides access to domestic and international hydro project developers to the vast market in the south, where they can sell electricity generated here.

    To implement all the provisions incorporated in the agreement, Nepal and India have formed a secretary-level joint steering committee and a joint secretary-level joint working group.

    The committee and the group will promote and facilitate cooperation in areas identified in the agreement, including planning and identification of cross-border interconnections, selection of transmission technologies, preparation of Detailed Project Reports, and modes of investment for timely implementation of projects.

    Source : The Himalayan Times