China announces fresh $146 million aid for Nepal

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Mar 29, 2015 21:02 IST

Giving further boost to its economic agenda in Nepal, China has announced a fresh aid package of RMB 900 million (nearly $ 145 million) for the Himalayan nation.

The fresh package comes less than two weeks after China announced to increase its annual aid to Nepal by over five-fold from RMB 150 million to RMB 800 million (nearly $128 million).

The decision was taken during a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Nepali counterpart Ram Baran Yadav on Saturday on sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan.

The meeting which lasted nearly 30 minutes is the first meeting between heads of states of the two neighbouring nations since Nepal replaced monarchy and became a republic in 2008.

"The package is in addition to the annual grant and will be used to improve the 115-km long Araniko highway which connects both nations," said Lekha Nath Bhattarai, deputy spokesperson of Nepal's foreign ministry.

China will also be providing training to 1,500 Nepalis in technical and non-technical sectors over the next five years.

Nepal is witnessing increased economic engagement from its northern neighbour which some view as an attempt to end India's dominance in the land-locked country's affairs.

Incidentally, the decision to hike annual grant was taken in December last year following India's move to provide Nepal with a line of credit worth $1 billion.

Nepal has already expressed its willingness to be part of major Chinese initiatives like the $40 billion Silk Road Economic Belt and the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank.

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