Nepali Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara has claimed the much-talked about pact on the Kathmandu-Kerung rail project, a cross-border rail network between Nepal and China, is at final stage of signature.
Speaking at a programme organised by the China Study Center and the Nepal Institute for Strategic Center on “One Belt One Road Initiative and South Asia” in the Capital on Friday, the DPM said Nepal would sign the pact with China.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had assured the Chinese side that Nepal would sign an agreement to extend the rail network from Kerung to Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbni, he said.
“As per the PM’s proposal, we are making preparations to sign the agreement with China soon,” Mahara said.
While it is uncertain yet whether Nepal would be part of OBOR, Mahara who is set to lead Nepal at OBOR Conference in Beijing next month, said that Nepal wanted to take advantage of the plan.
We have taken it as an opportunity to expand economic cooperation, he said, “Nepal is at final stage to sign the initiative to which the government has accorded the highest priority.
“We are sure a country like Nepal will be helped by this initiative which is expected to bring together many countries, including those in South Asia.”
Though top Nepali officials, including PM Dahal, have been insisting on Nepal’s participation at the OBOR conference, sources privy to the development say that negotiations and consultations with the Chinese side is underway and no concrete decision has been made yet.