The Prime Minister of India His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi is on a State Visit to Nepal from 11 to 12 May 2018 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Nepal The Rt. Hon'ble K P Sharma Oli.
Marking their second bilateral Summit in 2018, the two Prime Ministers held delegation level talks on 11 May 2018 in an atmosphere of utmost warmth and cordiality that characterizes the deep friendship and understanding between the two countries.
The two Prime Ministers recalled their meeting in New Delhi during the State visit of Prime Minister Oli in April 2018 and agreed to maintain the momentum generated by the visit by taking effective measures for the implementation of all the agreements and understandings reached in the past. They also agreed that effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in agriculture, railway linkages and inland waterways development, as agreed upon by the two sides during the recent visit of Prime Minister Oli to India, would have transformational impact in these areas.
While reviewing the close and multifaceted relations between the two countries at different levels, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their resolve to work together to take bilateral relations to newer heights by strengthening ongoing cooperation in diverse spheres as well as expanding partnership for socio-economic development on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual trust, respect and mutual benefit.
The two Prime Ministers emphasized the need for regular convening of bilateral mechanisms, including Nepal-India Joint Commission at Foreign/External Affairs Ministers level, to review the overall state of bilateral relations, and for the expeditious implementation of the economic and development cooperation projects.
The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of trade and economic ties between India and Nepal. Expressing concern over Nepal’s growing trade deficit with India, Prime Minister Oli stated that measures to address this deficit need to be taken. In this context, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the outcome of the recently held Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on Trade, Transit and Cooperation to control unauthorized trade to jointly initiate a comprehensive review of the bilateral Treaty of Trade, and to consider amendments to the Treaty of Transit and related Agreements with a view to further facilitating Nepal's access to the Indian market, enhancing overall bilateral trade, and facilitating Nepal's transit trade.
The two Prime Ministers underlined the catalytic role of connectivity in stimulating economic growth and promoting movement of people. They agreed to take further steps to enhance the economic and physical connectivity by air, land, and water. Recognizing the vibrant people to people contacts and friendly bilateral ties, the two Prime Ministers directed the respective officials to expand cooperation in civil aviation sector, including early technical discussion on additional air entry routes to Nepal by respective technical teams.
The two Prime Ministers reiterated the importance of advancing cooperation in water resources for mutual benefit in areas such as river training works, inundation and flood management, irrigation, and to enhance pace of implementation of ongoing bilateral projects. They also expressed satisfaction over constitution of the joint team, which will visit areas affected by inundation and floods and consider appropriate measures for sustainable solution.
The two Prime Ministers jointly laid the foundation stone of 900 MW Arun-III hydro-electric project in Nepal. They expressed hope that operationalization of the project would help enhance cooperation in the generation and trade of power between the two countries. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the outcome of the recently concluded meeting of the Joint Steering Committee on cooperation in the power sector held on 17 April 2018. They agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in power sector in line with the bilateral Power Trade Agreement.
Prime Minister Modi also visited Janakpur and Muktinath and attended civic receptions in Kathmandu and Janakpur.
With a view to further strengthening the close religious and cultural ties between the two countries and peoples, the two Prime Ministers launched Nepal-India Ramayana Circuit connecting Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, with Ayodhya and other sites associated with the epic Ramayana. In Janakpur, the two Prime Ministers flagged off the inaugural direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya.
The two Prime Ministers directed their respective officials to address outstanding matters by September 2018, with the objective of advancing cooperation in all areas.
The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation under BIMSTEC, SAARC, and BBIN frameworks for forging meaningful cooperation in identified sectors.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that the landmark third visit of Prime Minister Modi to Nepal has further strengthened the age-old friendly relations between the two countries and has injected a fresh impetus to our growing partnership.
Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Oli for his gracious invitation and warmth of hospitality.
Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to Prime Minister Oli to pay a visit to India. Prime Minister Oli accepted the invitation; dates will be finalized through diplomatic channels.
Prime Minister chairs first meeting of National Ganga Council
December 14, 2019
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the first meeting of the National Ganga Council in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh today.
The Council has been given overall responsibility for superintendence of pollution prevention and rejuvenation of River Ganga Basin, including Ganga and its tributaries. The first meeting of the Council was aimed at reinforcing the importance of a ‘Ganga-centric’ approach in all departments of the concerned states as well as relevant Central Ministries.
Today’s meeting was attended by Union Ministers for Jal Shakti, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Health, Urban Affairs, Power, Tourism, Shipping and Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Vice Chairman Niti Aayog and other senior officials. The state of West Bengal was not present in the meeting and Jharkhand did not participate because of the ongoing elections and the Model Code of Conduct being in force.
Prime Minister, while reviewing the progress of work done and deliberating on various aspects of cleaning river Ganga with a focus on ‘swachhta’, ‘aviralta’ and ‘nirmalta’. He observed that Maa Ganga is the holiest river on the sub-continent and its rejuvenation should embody a shining example of cooperative federalism. Prime Minister said that rejuvenation of Ganga has been a long pending challenge for the country. He noted that a lot had been accomplished since the Government took up ‘Namami Gange’ in 2014 as a comprehensive initiative integrating various government efforts and activities with the aim of pollution abatement, conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga, notable achievements being zero waste creation by paper mills and reduction in pollution from tanneries; but much more needs to be done.
For the first time, the Central Government had made commitment of Rs. 20,000 crores for the period 2015-20 to the five states through which Ganga passes, to ensure adequate as well as uninterrupted water flows in the river. Rs. 7700 crores have already been spent so far, prominently for construction of new sewage treatment plants.
Prime Minister emphasized that an improvement framework for Nirmal Ganga would require fullest cooperation from the public at large and greater awareness through dissemination of best practices from cities situated along the banks of national rivers. Efficiency of District Ganga Committees should be improved in all districts, in order to provide a effective framework for expeditious implementation of plans.
The Government has set up the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF) to facilitate contributions from individuals, NRIs, corporate entities for funding Ganga rejuvenation projects. Hon’ble PM has personally donated Rs. 16.53 crores to CGF, from the amount realized from auction of the gifts he received since 2014 and the prize money of the Seoul Peace prize.
Prime Minister urged for a holistic thinking process where ‘Namami Gange’ evolves to ‘Arth Ganga’ or a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to Ganga. As part of this process, farmers should be encouraged to engage in sustainable agriculture practices, including zero budget farming, planting of fruit trees and building plant nurseries on the banks of Ganga. Priority could be given to women Self Help Groups and ex-servicemen organizations for these programs. Such practices, along with creation of infrastructure for water sports and development of camp sites, cycling and walking tracks etc , would help to tap the ‘hybrid’ tourism potential of the river basin area- for purposes of religious as well as adventure tourism. The income generated from encouraging eco-tourism and Ganga wildlife conservation and cruise tourism etc. would help to generate sustainable income streams for cleaning of Ganga.
For monitoring the work progress and activities from various schemes and initiatives under Namami Gange and Arth Ganga, PM also gave directions for the setting up of a Digital Dashboard where data from villages and urban bodies should be monitored on a daily basis by Niti Ayog and Ministry of Jal Shakti. Prime Minister also said that like aspirational districts, all districts bordering Ganga should be made a focus area for monitoring efforts under Namami Gange.
Prior to the meeting, Prime Minister paid floral tributes to legendary freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad and viewed an exhibition on ‘Namami Gange’ interventions and projects at the Chandrashekhar Azad Agriculture University. Later in the day, Prime Minister visited Atal Ghat and also inspected the successfully completed work of cleaning at Sisamau Nala.