– In a backdrop of Nepal’s improved strategic inclination towards China, Delhi has offered cross border rail connectivity and commits soft loans of $340 million to Kathmandu for more than 15 road projects. India’s Minister of Railway Suresh Prabhu has inked a letter of exchange with Nepal’s Physical Infrastructure and Planning Minister Ramesh Lekhak for the projects in Kathmandu.
“The infrastructure meet would be pivotal for accelerating Nepal's economic growth at a time when the country is striving to graduate to the league of developing nations,” Suresh Prabhu said in a response to Nepalese minister hopes on supporting Nepal's infrastructure development activities.
Reinventing the relation with Nepal in changed scenario, Prabhu also commits to connect Kathmandu to Indian cities Delhi and Kolkata through rail networks. “We need to build the railway tracks connecting Kathmandu with Delhi and Kolkata as soon as possible," Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
Of late, India is trailing far behind China in extending financial support to Kathmandu primarily for infrastructure projects. “I will give priority to building such networks soon," Prabhu said.
A document released by Nepal’s Department of Industries reads that last fiscal year, Nepal had received two third of the total foreign direct investment from China.
Relations between Delhi and Kathmandu soured after five month economic blockade between September 2015 to February 2016 due to unrest in Nepal’s Terai region closed to Indian border. There is persistent perception among a large section of Nepali population that India was primarily responsible for hardship faced by common Nepalis during the said period. However Indian Government constantly denied any involvement citing internal factors for the unrest. Since then, officials from China and Nepal have been visiting and exchanging dozens of agreement to boost infrastructure in Nepal. Nepal Army and China’s PLA has scheduled first ever joint military exercise this month.
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