Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is coming to Nepal on May 22 at the formal invitation of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. This is his first high-level visit to Nepal since being elected Prime Minister of India for the second time in 2019. Modi plans to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of the World Heritage-listed Buddha, on the occasion of Buddhapurnima (Buddha’s birth anniversary) on May 20.
On the occasion, Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba and his Indian counterpart Modi will attend the ceremony in Lumbini. Both the Prime Ministers are scheduled to light lamps at the Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office have yet to make a formal announcement in this regard.
The Prime Minister of India Modi has started his international tour as soon as the Kovid-19 epidemic subsided. He is currently on a tour of Europe. According to Indian media, he will start visiting Nepal soon after returning from there. During his previous tenure, he had visited Nepal four times. Accordingly, he came to Nepal twice in 2014 and twice in 2018. He had expressed his desire to visit Lumbini during his visit to Nepal in 2014.
The war in Kovid, Russia and Ukraine has caused a sharp rise in prices of some commodities including petroleum products, which has had a major impact on the Nepalese economy. Which has shocked the policy makers who have been silent in the past. The state of the country’s economy is not good, there is pressure on foreign reserves. Officials of Nepal Rastra Bank had expressed concern that the situation in Nepal could be similar to that of Sri Lanka if lessons are not learned from the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. The state of our economy has not reached the level of Sri Lanka, but if it is not serious now, it cannot be said that such a situation will not come.
Nepal has sought the help of IMF and India to secure financing if necessary amidst negative economic indicators. Does Nepal feel the need to secure both bridge financing and economic adjustment programs with the IMF? This can be a topic of discussion.
It is India’s duty to express concern over the immediate human cost of Nepal’s economic problems. India must stand with Nepal to overcome its challenges. India can help solve Nepal’s problems immediately by providing some assistance to Nepal in the form of loans for essential commodities and fuels and to support balance of payments.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba visited neighboring India from April 1 to 3, 2022. As Nepal and India have friendly relations, this visit has emphasized the special relationship between the two countries. During the visit, the state of bilateral relations was also reviewed, which is now considered excellent. The two heads of government also discussed other regional issues. A 13-point joint press release was issued during the visit, highlighting key issues discussed during the visit.
Nepal and India have been close and close friends since time immemorial. Nepal and India, despite their vast differences in size and population, economy and technology, are united by their culture, traditions and philosophy. From a changed perspective, Nepal-India relations should be viewed from this perspective. How to promote traditional relations? How to strengthen bilateral economic relations and how to develop trade on an equal footing. India has always been our major trading partner. Therefore, for any trade policy to be successful, the Indian market and the mutual interest of both the countries must be taken into consideration.
We have to look at Nepal’s politics with India or India’s economic diplomacy with Nepal, where both countries win and neither country loses. The two prime ministers had a border dispute. The press release also said that the Prime Minister of Nepal had requested the Prime Minister of India to resolve the border issue through an established bilateral mechanism but the statement of the Indian side was not mentioned.
During the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Nepal, Nepal should be able to provide information on the current economic situation and seek cooperation and collaboration with its southern neighbor. In this regard, a committee should be formed at the private sector level of both the countries for the mechanism of identification, solution and solution of the problem and since its suggestions are acceptable to both the countries, it should be effective at the implementation level.
As both countries take ownership, immediate, medium, and long-term solutions to the problem can be implemented. India can even help Nepal by extending the payment credit period for petrol production. If required, soft loan from India can also be used. Since Nepal’s currency is linked to India and some private sectors are talking about currency mobilization, it should also be considered keeping in view the national interest and public sentiment.
Nepal’s politics with India or India’s politics with Nepal should be seen in the context of economic diplomacy, where both countries win and neither country loses. Overall, as a neighboring country to Nepal’s current economic situation, India can play a role of immediate relief assistance and assistance to Nepal. During the recent visit of the Prime Minister of Nepal Deuba to India, many issues have been discussed and agreed upon. Expected Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit is expected to help improve Nepal’s economic situation