PM Narendra Modi in Kathmandu: India wants a powerful Nepal

'India to extend $1 billion line of credit to Nepal'

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced Rs 10,000 crore as concessional line of credit to Nepal and proposed a HIT formula for the development of the land-locked country endowed with rich hydropower potential.

Modi, while addressing Nepal Constituent Assembly, said for Nepal, "India has decided to provide Nepal with NRs 10,000 crore (USD 1 billion) as concessional line of credit for various development purposes."

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Signing of agreements between India and Nepal in Kathmandu. (Photo: ANI Twitter)

"This amount is separate from the previous assistance that India has already provided to Nepal," Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country in 17 years, said.

Earlier, India had provided USD 250 million line of credit to Nepal through the Exim Bank of India.

Read: PM Modi a celebrity in Nepal, gives autograph to a girl in Kathmandu

The new grant will be utilised for infrastructure development and energy projects as per Nepal's priority, according to Nepalese Foreign Ministry.

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Proposing a model development formula for Nepal, Modi said, "I want to HIT Nepal", drawing wide applause from the lawmakers. Elaborating his strategy, Modi said HIT in his lexicon implies - H:Highways, I:I-ways and T:Transways.

He said these three combined together would pave the way for rapid development of the country and India wants to "give this gift at the earliest".

This is the second time a foreign leader was addressing the Nepalese Constituent Assembly. Earlier in 1990, the then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had delivered a keynote speech to the Constituent Assembly.

The third agreement relates to cooperation between Nepal Television and Doordarshan, the state-owned television stations of both the countries. Along with Koirala, Deputy Prime Ministers Bam Dev Gautam and Prakash Man Singh were also present at the airport.

During their talks, Modi and Koirala discussed various issues including Nepal's peace process and constitution-drafting process as well as economic issues. They also touched upon various facets of mutual relations and issues of common interest.

On his way to the Constituent Assembly, Modi stopped his convoy to meet common people. In his address, Modi told the lawmakers, "Being your neighbour and seeing our experience as a democracy we feel happy at the direction in which you are going. Our only wish is that Nepal's progress reaches as high as the Himalayas."

Modi said India would help Nepal in constructing highways for better connectivity. India will provide assistance to the country for developing information highways so that "Nepal should not be left behind among the nations of the world."

"Nepal too has to catch up with the digital age and it has to be connected to the world at large," he said.

Read: Narendra Modi meets Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala, 3 agreements signed

He said Nepal has abundant potential for developing its hydropower sector and for this purpose India is committed to establish transmission lines for the export and import of electricity.

"I want to double the amount of electricity India is providing Nepal today so we have to lay the transmission lines as soon as possible," the Prime Minister said, adding India wants to buy electricity from Nepal.

"This is my notion of hitting Nepal and you too would agree that it soon becomes a hit," he said. Striking an optimistic note, Modi said "for now we will remove darkness here and a decade later Nepal will come to our help. This is our bonding".

He said India welcomes and respects the aspirations of a Nepalese Federal Democratic Republic.

Read: Nepalese leaders laud Modi's address to Constituent Assembly

Praising the contribution of Gurkha soldiers in India's defence, Modi said India has won no war without the sacrifices by Nepalese soldiers. "I salute those brave hearts who laid their lives for India," he said.

Invoking Sam Manekshaw, the first Field Marshal in the Indian army, Modi said, "Any soldier who says I am not afraid of death would either be lying or is a Gurkha."

Here are the highlights of his address in the Nepal Parliament:

  • I am the first guest in your Parliament who has been invited to speak. This is an honor for all Indians
  • The bond between Nepal and India is as old as Ganga and Himalaya
  • There is a temple in Kashi where priest is from Nepal, & there is a temple in Nepal where priests are Indian, such is our bond
  • The world that believes in democracy is looking to Nepal, to the leaders sitting here
  • King Asoka went in search of peace. I congratulate you all that you chose the path of "Budha" rather than "yudha"
  • Constitution is not a book, it brings yesterday, today and tomorrow together
  • The world that believes in democracy is looking to Nepal, to the leaders sitting here
  • I congratulate you for choosing ballot over bullet
  • The world will get a way towards peace from this land, your Constitution will pave way for that
  • If we can help you on your way to your achievements, that is what we want to do
  • Nepal is a country of brave people
  • Nepal can free India of its darkness. But we dont want free electricity, we want to buy it
  • Being your neighbour and seeing our experience as a democracy we feel happy at the direction in which you are going
  • We are ready to work with Nepal in all its efforts
  • Why cant Nepal be the largest exporter of herbal medicine? Hanuman ji came here for sanjeevani
  • Nepal is a truly sovereign nation. It is not our job to interfere in Nepal's internal affairs
  • Adventurous youth from all over the world can come here (Nepal), this land has such potential
  • Nepal needs highways. We will support you that. There should be bridges between Nepal and India
  • We have decided to launch a SAARC satellite to help the SAARC nations in the field of health and education
  • Border should be a bridge, not a barrier
  • India will extend Rs. 10,000 crore to Nepal as line of credit to be used according to Nepal's priorities
( Source : dc/pti )
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