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Modi announces $1 billion credit, HIT formula for Nepal’s development

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced USD 1 billion (NRs 10,000 crore) as concessional line of credit to Nepal 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, “India has decided to provide Nepal with NRs 10,000 crore 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.

This is the second time a foreign leader was addressing the Nepalese Constituent Assembly. Earlier in 1990, the then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had delivered a keynote speech to the Constituent Assembly.

“It came to my mind that let’s hit Nepal. Many of you would take offence to my use of this term but when I talk of hitting Nepal, I have three main points in mind - H:Highways, I:I-ways and T:Transways,” Modi said.

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.”

He said Nepal has abundant potential for developing its hydropower 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.