Nepal (Left) and India (Right) Flags. Photograph:( WION )
The Nepal-India inter-governmental sub-committee meeting of their joint secretaries kicked off here today to discuss issues relating to trade, commerce and transit between the two countries. The entire gamut of trade and transit will be discussed during the two-day meeting, according to sources in Nepal’s ministry of commerce and supplies.
The meeting will also discuss enhancing cooperation between the two countries to control unauthorised border trade, said an official participating in the meeting. Nepal will also ask India, among other things, to provide access to Indian seas through waterways, said an official.
The Nepalese delegation is led by Joint Secretary, Commerce and Industries, Ravi Sainju while the Indian side is led by Joint Secretary B S Bhalla.
The objective of the meeting is to further strengthen trade and transit relations between the two countries, the Indian Embassy here said. Nepal and India need to form a joint study team to conduct a feasibility study for operating water transport for Nepal via Indian seas, said Madhav Belbase, Joint Secretary at Water and Energy Commission of Nepal.
During Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s state visit to India on April 6-8, the two sides had issued a joint statement on connectivity through inland waterways, opening the door for Nepal to access the ocean through India. The meeting will be followed by the inter-governmental committee (IGC) meeting between commerce secretaries of the two countries.
It will set the agenda for the two-day meeting of commerce secretaries scheduled for April 26-27 in Kathmandu.