Kathmandu: Nepalese and Indian officials began talks here on Tuesday to revise a Transit Treaty allowing a transit facility to Kathmandu through Indian waterways. A sub-committee level meeting under the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) kicked off in Kathmandu, reports Xinhua news agency. The commerce secretary-level talks will start on Thursday.
During Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to India from April 6 to 8, the two countries issued a joint statement on new connectivity through inland waterways, opening the door for Nepal to reach the sea through waterways for the first time.
If Nepal establishes direct access to the sea through waterways, experts said that it would reduce the cost of doing trade for the land-locked Himalayan nation. “The two sides are going to discuss on technicalities of incorporating the issue in the Transit Treaty,” Rabi Shankar Sainju, joint secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply, told Xinhua. “As it is the first time that two sides are discussing on adding waterway as the mode of the transit facility, we will basically discuss and try to finalize the content to be incorporated in the Treaty.”
According to Madhav Belbase, joint secretary at the Water and Energy Commission, Nepal and India might have to form a joint study team to conduct the procedure.