1 - 7 August 2014 #718

Modifiable relations

For a country with which Nepal is so close and has such overwhelming economic dependence, what is really surprising is that this is the first official visit by an Indian prime minister in 17 years. It is even more ludicrous that Nepal hasn’t had an ambassador in New Delhi for three years, or that our national airline doesn’t fly to any point in India. And the Indo-Nepal foreign minister level Joint Commission only had its first meeting since 1991 this week. The priority Nepal is giving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit is long overdue.

But the government has not done its homework, and our expectations from the visit may be unrealistically high. Nepal and India are perfectly matched for power sharing. When energy demand is high in India Nepal can have surplus power. If the tariffs and are right, Nepal can prosper from power and water sharing. It is also in India’s interest that the trade is fair.