Nepal invites more Indian investment in hydro-power sector

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Kolkata, Jul 18 (UNI) Nepalese ambassador to India Dr Durgesh Man Singh today invited more Indian investment in the hydro-power sector, in a bid to plug trade deficit between the two neighbouring countries.

Speaking on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce&Industry (BNCCI) here, Dr Singh said setting up of, at least, three to four hydro-power projects would be instrumental towards bridging the trade deficit, which currently stood at 58 per cent.

''At present, two hydro power projects are being set up by Indian companies, namely Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and GMR, altogether having an installed capacity of 700 mw,'' Dr Singh said. Work, in this regard, was going on and the plants would be operational in the next three to four years, he added.

''While 21 per cent of the total power would be utilised by Nepal, the rest could be imported by India,'' he observed.

The Ambassador also batted for more investment in the tourism sector from India.

The India-Nepal bilateral trade was recorded at USD 1424.64 million (m) between April and December in FY 08, with India exporting a trade volume of USD 1,022.15 m and importing 402.49 m from Nepal. On the other hand, while India's export to Nepal in FY'07 was USD 927.77 m, imports from Nepal was assessed at USD 305.73 m.

Moreover, the country's import from Nepal as a percentage share of its total imports is currently recorded at 0.23, while such figure representing India's export to Nepal is 0.9. The statistics reveal that balance of trade has all along tilted in favour of India.

Some of the major items of export from India include edible oil, vegetables, cereals, fruits, medicinal plants, vehicles, paper products, mineral fuels and petroleum products, while the principal items of import from Nepal were coffee, tea, spices, beverages, spirits and vinegar.

BNCCI president K K Navada said the Nepal Chamber of Commerce had already expressed their keenness to participate in the 22nd Industrial India Trade Fair commencing on December 23 in Kolkata.

Mr Navada felt that the large market size and availability of human resources in West Bengal would be beneficial for the Nepalese business fraternity.

UNI SB KK DB1709

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