Religious tourism can help strengthen Nepal-India relations «

Religious tourism can help strengthen Nepal-India relations

Diplomats opined that religious tourism can help strengthen Nepal-India relations.
“Tourism is the mainstay of the Nepal economy and religious tourism is one of the key contributors to the Nepalese tourism industry,” said Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker Nepal’s Ambassador to India Dr Shankar Prasad Sharma speaking at ‘India-Nepal Partnership Summit 2022’ held to celebrate India’s 75th year of independence (Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav) and further deepening India-Nepal bilateral ties, and organized by the Embassy of Nepal in India (EoNI) and India-Nepal Centre (INC), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), on Tuesday at New Delhi.
The relationship between two countries is very strong but this is the time when we have to think on accommodating the aspirations with changing times and further strengthen it, he said, adding, “Our relationship should be nurtured. Ambassador Dr Sharma also shared that trade deficit between two countries remains a matter of concern, along with lots of scope to work jointly in energy and agriculture sectors.
“Civilizational links and geographical links are the key elements which can help to energize and reinvent the bilateral relations between India and Nepal,” said Ambassador K V Rajan, Chairman, India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI and India’s Former Ambassador to Nepal in his opening remarks.
“In April 2022, Nepal’s PM Sher Bahadur Deuba visited India which generated various opportunities for both the countries and built mutual interests including for infrastructure development and economic partnership, trade, health and power,” said Ram Prasad Subedi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Nepal in India. “For post-pandemic economic rebounding in both countries, a positive environment that is created with the Prime Minister’s visits from both sides in recent times will be utmost crucial,” he said, adding that Nepal has already begun exporting 177 MW of energy to India via the power exchange market. “The tourism sector of India plays a significant role in the economic multiplier and becomes critical since India has to grow at rapid rates and create employment opportunities for its fellow citizens.”
“The objective of today’s conference is to foster relationships and deepen the links, boosting the growth and prosperity of both sides,” Anurag Srivastava, Joint Secretary (North), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. “India is Nepal’s largest trade partner and the largest source of FDI, besides majorly providing transit for third-country trade of Nepal,” he said, adding that there are three key areas where both nations are working right now are Trade Facilitation, Deepening Energy Cooperation and Cross Border Connectivity. “Nepal becomes the 4th Country to use the RUPAY card after UAE, Bhutan and Singapore and the ways are being explored to further support financial connectivity.”
“Also, it is vital to note the progress with the projects like railways (Jayanagar-Bardibas), Terai roads, Integrated Check Posts (ICPs), post-earthquake reconstructions,” he added.
“India has been putting best efforts for fostering bilateral ties with Nepal and with a view that we have aligned objectives,” said Ambassador Jayant Prasad, India’s Former Ambassador to Nepal, on the occasion. “We should prioritize three areas of cooperation: Energy Trade; Bio-agri and connectivity. Also we have to cooperate on climate change front.”
“Nepal is facing the challenges with financial liquidity and balance of payment, SBI (through NSBL) is doing its best to support the industry to overcome them,” Anukool Bhatnagar, Chief General Manager and Head-Nepal Desk, SBI. “On the other hand, it is also true that SBI’s most profitable business outside India is in Nepal and that broadly reflects on the bright possibilities Nepal’s market offers,” he said, adding that SBI is deeply committed to backward-forward linkages, smooth financial transactions, banking safety, financial inclusion and sustainable development goals. “With the Arun-III power project and many others, SBI has been contributing to Nepal’s development and India-Nepal relations at large.”
On the 75th year of its independence and glorious journey as the world’s largest democracy and one of the significant economies, India is celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that enlivens the spirit of all Indians and also the people of friendly neighbour Nepal that remarkably struggled for India’s independence. Among other positive attributes, the deepness and complementarity of India-Nepal relations come from the linkages of cooperation during India’s freedom struggle and later during its journey with developmental aspirations. On the other hand, India’s commitment for the peace and prosperity in Nepal has been unwavering and the most reliable bilateral ties between two friendliest countries aptly reflect that, according to a press release issued by the PHDCCI, New Delhi.
The key participants, among others were, Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI; Atul K Thakur, Nodal Coordinator, India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI; Sandeep Rana, President, Antarrashtriya BP Chintan Pratisthan; Mahesh Kumar Agrawal, State Coordinator, Seema Jagran Manch; Akanshya Shah Rana, Policy Professional & Columnist; Bikas Rauniar, Executive Director, Interstate Multi Modal Transport (P) Ltd; Maj. Gen. (retd) Ashok K Mehta, Columnist and Commentator; Prof Jay Ranade; Maj. Gen (retd) Dipankar Banerjee, Mentor, IPCS; K Subramaniam, Columnist and Commentator; Rangan Dutta, Columnist.
The global pandemic Corona virus or Covid-19 is being termed as a ‘one in hundred years’ crisis, therefore it is very well needed to evaluate and study India-Nepal bilateral relations through its lens now, the release further reads. “A change in approach is much needed at this point of time, before the fundamentals of the world order go into reset mode, there should be determination to revive the regional and subregional economic cooperation in the South Asian region with enhanced bilateral cooperation between India and Nepal.”
PHDCCI India-Nepal Centre is working with the stakeholders in the government and industry to foster India-Nepal relations.