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Top Nepal businessman hopes decisive steps from Modi to build ties

IANS  |  New Delhi 

As took charge for a second term, Nepal's top industrialist and of has expressed the hope that the two countries will show a "renewed sense of commitment" to take the bilateral ties to a new height by forgetting the "unpleasant" developments witnessed in the recent past, like the 2015 economic blockade.

Chaudhary, who was here to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the government-II, is confident that the Indian would take the "required decisive steps to transform Nepal", saying it would be beneficial for too.

The billionaire talked about the trade imbalance tilted towards and wanted to "correct" the situation, saying: "It requires a political leadership of different order. Modiji has that courage."

Speaking to IANS here, he said the re-election of Modi with a much bigger mandate gives confidence that he would be able to accomplish what could not be achieved earlier and that the bilateral relations would be taken to a new height.

"A prosperous will be beneficial for India," said the of CG Corp Global, which has more than 130 companies in diverse sectors, including financial services, energy, education, hospitality and

"I hope there would be a renewed sense of commitment on part of both the governments to take the Nepal-relationship to the new height, thereby concluding many critical bilateral projects of huge importance, which have not made progress.

"Both countries need to forget the past and work for a different level of economic prosperity," said.

Asked what he meant by "forgetting the past", referred to the 2015 Madeshi unrest, which was followed by the economic blockade of

"Things were moving on track, but the unfortunate events, like Madeshi unrest and blockade, happened and caused serious damage to the relations at people to people level. This has left an undesirable level of trust deficit and pain in many minds which, given the historic relationship of and India, needs to be corrected," the billionaire said.

Recalling Modi's address to the during his first visit to in 2014, Chaudhary, who had met him at that time, said, "there was a completely different level of euphoria and the expectations went high".

Hopes rose about languishing important projects seeing the light of the day, he said.

"Unfortunately, there are elements in both India and Nepal who consciously don't let things happen and sabotage the processes. They are good at spreading an impression that help in creating lack of mutual trust," he said.

According to the top businessman, people in both countries have "now repaired the ties, but we lost 4 years in the process".

Modi, in his address to the on August 3, 2014, had said India would help the country build highways, I-ways and transways.

He had noted that Nepal had abundant potential in the hydro power sector and India would like to buy from it, for which was committed to establish transmission lines.

While making a reference to those promises by the Indian Prime Minister, Chaudhary said: "Modiji went out of the way in cementing the relationship, which has opened many new dimensions of mutual cooperation, including waterways and railways, and reopening avenues with economic relationship to a new height."

Likewise, the has also responded to this effort and initiative demonstrated by India during the two visits of Modi and the then

Underlining that a prosperous Nepal, with enhanced capacity to buy, will only benefit India, Chaudhary said: "India is a huge market in the eyes of the whole world. But as far as Nepal is concerned, it's the other way round. Nepal has two-third market share for goods from India, while Nepalese exports to and not growing as it should."

This caused trade imbalance in favour of India, Chaudhary said, adding one of the ways to address it was cooperation in the power sector.

Talking about possibilities in the sector, he said: "Nepal is in an unfortunate situation by having to buy power instead of selling... There is potential for generation of 100,000 megawatts of power in Nepal. Instead, Nepal buys 500 megawatts from India."

According to the top businessman, India should help build power plants of at least 20,000-30,000 megawatts in Nepal.

"It's in India's interest to see Nepal become an example in the neighbourhood of a country, which contributes to the Indian economy through supply of power, several agro-based raw material, including trustworthy and hardworking man power," the billionaire said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 01 2019. 18:30 IST