Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced NRs 10,000 crore as concessional line of credit to Nepal on Sunday and proposed a HIT formula for the development of the land-locked country endowed with rich hydro power potential.
Modi, while addressing Nepal Constituent Assembly, said for Nepal, “India has decided to provide Nepal with NRs 10,000 crore (USD 1 billion) as concessional line of credit for various development purposes.”
“This amount is separate from the previous assistance that India has already provided to Nepal,” Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the country in 17 years, said.
Earlier, India had provided USD 250 million line of credit to Nepal through the Exim Bank of India.
The new grant will be utilised for infrastructure development and energy projects as per Nepal’s priority, according to Nepalese Foreign Ministry.
Proposing a model development formula for Nepal, Modi said, “I want to HIT Nepal”, drawing wide applause from the lawmakers.
Elaborating his strategy, Modi said HIT in his lexicon implies – H: Highways, I:I-ways and T: Transways.
Prime Minister said these three combined together would pave the way for rapid development of the country and India wants to “give this gift at the earliest”.
He said India will help Nepal in constructing highways for better connectivity. It will provide assistance to the country for developing information highways so that “Nepal should not be left behind among the nations of the world. Nepal too has to catch up with the digital age and it has to be connected to the world at large”.
PM said Nepal has abundant potential for developing its hydro power sector and for this purpose India is committed to establish transmission lines for the export and import of electricity.
“I want to double the amount of electricity India is providing Nepal today so we have to lay the transmission lines as soon as possible,” the Prime Minister said, adding India wants to buy electricity from Nepal.
Striking an optimistic note, Modi said “for now we will remove darkness here and a decade later Nepal will come to our help. This is our bonding”.
He said borders between the two nations should not be a barrier, but act as bridges so that both can develop.
He said India and Nepal ties are as old as Himalayas and Ganga. The two countries share close cultural relationship.
PM said India welcomes and respects the aspirations of a Nepalese Federal Democratic Republic.”It is not our job to interfere in your internal affairs but to assist you in the path you have chosen,”.