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Nepal to India: Fulfil supply commitment

Posted on 31 October 2015 by admin

Publication Date : 31-10-2015

 

Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently made two separate communications to the Indian government to fulfil its commitment made at the political level to ease and increase the supplies of fuel and other essential commodities to Nepal.

In response to a press briefing by Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, on Friday in New Delhi, a senior Foreign Ministry official said that Nepal made such request recently with the Indian side as per the commitment made by the Indian political leadership during the visit of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa.

The Nepali side, in its correspondence with India, gave the details of the status of fuel and essential commodities passed through various customs points and urged the Indian side to increase them as it has taken a toll on Nepal’s economy and livelihood.

During his visit to India early this month, Thapa held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other senior officials, requesting them to ease the supplies of fuel and other essential commodities. In his briefing, Swarup said, “I reiterated there is no blockade by India. Obstructions are on the Nepali side by a section of their own population. The largest border crossing, Raxaul-Birgunj, which accounts for 70 percent of our trade, continues to remain closed from their side.”

But officials in Nepal said in clear terms that the blockage is from the Indian side and that Nepal is ready to provide all kind of security to Nepal-bound cargoes and freights. Tara Pokhrel, spokesperson at the ministry, said the Nepalis have been suffering from the shortage of fuel and other essentials.

He added that the Foreign Ministry was taking diplomatic initiatives to improve the conditions.

Swarup also commented on the recent memorandum of understanding between Nepal and China. “We have seen reports that Nepal has signed an agreement with China,” he said, adding that Nepal’s trade with India is multi-faceted, diverse and deep-rooted.

Nearly two thirds of Nepal’s international trade is with India and a bulk of the third country trade passes through India, he said. Nearly half of the foreign investments in Nepal is from India.

The EAM spokesperson added that several hundred cargo trucks are still passing daily through the crossings that are open. “The IOC [Indian Oil Corporation] is able to deliver only 30 percent of the allocation [to Nepal] on average. We facilitated airlifting of aviation turbine fuel earlier. And we are ready to facilitate similar operations in future.” He said that the Indian side was also facilitating the rerouting of LPG bullets. He indicated that India was ready to engage with the new government in Nepal.

“As far as [our] engagement with the new government is concerned, you are aware that [foreign minister] Kamal Thapa came within a week of assuming office. We had good discussions. He acknowledged that there is a political problem in Nepal which needs a political solution,” he said, urging the political parties in Nepal to accommodate the disgruntled people.

SC seeks clarification on govt silence

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to furnish a written explanation as to why it did not raise the issue of India’s unofficial blockade on Nepal in the international arena.

The single bench of Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha issued the fiat on Friday in response to a writ petition filed by the Forum for Protection of Consumer�™s Rights Nepal. The apex court has also ordered the government to present the details of the efforts that are being made to end the blockade.

Arguing that the obstruction on supply of emergency essentials such as petroleum products and medicines should not be blocked even during wartime, the plaintiff has termed the blockade a crime against humanity, and demanded the court to order the government to file an application at the United Nations, seeking the latter’s intervention to end the blockade, and lodge a separate complaint at the Indian Supreme Court in accordance with the provision in the Indian constitution.

A member nation of the World Trade Organisation, Nepal has the right to import goods from third countries. As a landlocked nation, Nepal also enjoys the right to access to sea for import of goods without any obstruction. Legally, any national can file complaints at the United Nations, if any provisions pertaining to the landlocked country and the international maritime laws are violated.

 

Article source: http://asianewsnetwork.feedsportal.com/c/33359/f/566602/s/4b1f4c0d/sc/7/l/0L0Sasianewsnet0Bnet0Cnews0E821210Bhtml/story01.htm

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