India-Nepal agreement urged for electricity trading

India-Nepal agreement urged for electricity trading
india investrade 2013Flag-Pins-Nepal-India

KATHMANDU, DEC 21 – The Nepali private sector and a minister on Thursday urged India to sign power trade deal so that power could be traded like other goods between Nepal and India. Given Nepal has a huge hydropower potential and India is a big next-door market, foreign investors willing to invest in big hydropower projects in Nepal are asking the government to sign such a deal to ensure power trading. Nepal is currently relying on the Power Exchange Agreement with India for import/export of electricity. But since the agreement has put a cap on electricity trading, Nepal has long been demanding that India sign the pact. Energy Minister Umakanta asked the Indian government to agree on a power trade agreement draft that Nepal will forward during the Inter-government Committee meeting to be held in Kathmandu from December 21-22. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of “India Investrade 2013”, a three-day exposition and buyer-seller meet being held in Bhrikutimandap, Kathma-ndu, Jha said the main challenge for the power sector is making supply affordable for the general people. Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Kolkata, in association with the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Indian Embassy in Nepal, are jointly organising the event. On the occasion, Saurya Rana, general secretary of Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said an approval of the “Umbrella Power-trade Agreement” would help expand bilateral power trade. He said Nepal could benefit from the Indian government’s policy of facilitating the energy sector. “The country could also benefit from the energy equipment industry of India which the Indian government has planned to energize for the next 10 years,” he said. Officials and experts from India and Nepal stressed on the need for promoting bilateral cooperation on promoting energy trade to reap mutual economic benefits. They said the focus should be on mutual collaboration on production as well as transmission and distribution of hydroelectricity. Deepak Amitabh, chairman of Power Trading Corporation, India, said they were ready to provide technical support to Nepal in power trading, provided Nepal maintained a conducive investment environment. He said the two countries could involve in energy trading if the Mujaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line is completed. “It could also help increase per capita energy consumption in both the countries,” he said. Anil Razdan, former power secretary of India, said Nepal could benefit from power trading after materialising the hydropower potential. “Amid the Indian government’s plan to expand electrification in 25,000 villages across India, Nepal can benefit,” he said, adding Nepal has to focus on attracting foreign investment for hydropower generation as well as distribution. The event is showcasing products related to power sector from 60 Indian companies.





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