The three major political parties have reached an understanding to sign the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) between Nepal and India during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Nepal on August 3-4 next week.
They parties reached the understanding at a meeting held among the leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's official residence at Baluwatar on Tuesday evening.
The parties have further set up a three-member taskforce to outline a draft of the agreement to propose to India.
The taskforce comprises of Minister for Finance Dr Ram Sharan Mahat from the NC, UML Vice Chairperson Bhim Rawal and UCPN (M) Vice Chairperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
"The taskforce will carry out necessary ground work to prepare the outline of the PTA prior to the visit of Indian Prime Minister," said UCPN (M) Vice Chair Shrestha.
Shrestha further said the taskforce will prepare the proposal after consulting with concerned government officials and present it to a meeting of the political parties. An understanding was reached to put forth the proposal to India once it is endorsed by the meeting, he added.
NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula said all the parties were univocal that possible opportunities for achievements in energy and hydropower sectors should be fully utilised. Officials from the Energy Ministry apprised the meeting of progress details over the Pancheshwor, Upper Karmali and Arun III hydropower projects, he said.
UML leader and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said the meeting agreed to deal the PTA and Power Development Agreement separately, as both the matters are different.
Energy Minister Radha Gyawali said the meeting concluded that investment atmosphere in the power production could not be created until import of power produced in the country was guaranteed and agreed to take up necessary process for signing the PTA during the upcoming Indian PM's Modi visit.
Present in the meeting were NC President and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Vice President Ramchandra Poudel, Senior Leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, UML Chairperson KP Oli, Senior Leaders Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, UCPN (M) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Senior Leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai and Vice Chairperson Posta Bahadur Bogati.