Stalled Indo-Nepal talks will resume by Feb: Pranab | world | Hindustan Times
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Stalled Indo-Nepal talks will resume by Feb: Pranab

world Updated: Nov 28, 2011 00:22 IST
Utpal Parashar

Meetings of the Joint Commission between India and Nepal, which have remained dormant since 1991, will resume next year to review the entire gamut of relationship between both neighbours.

"As agreed during the Prime Minister Bhattarai's India visit, the next meeting of the Joint Commission will take place in early February of next year," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on Sunday.

Mukherjee who was on one-day visit to Nepal to sign the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement also spoke on other developments to enhance ties between both nations.

Recently, New Delhi hosted a meeting of the joint ministerial commission of water resources and next month commerce secretaries of both countries will meet to identify areas of cooperation.

Both sides are also planning to hold meetings of home secretaries and water resources ministers soon.

During Mukherjee's deliberations in Kathmandu, India sought preliminary inputs from Nepal as a prelude to the review of past treaties and agreements to be done by foreign secretaries of the two countries.

It was agreed during Prime Minister Bhattarai's India visit last month that a high-level committee of foreign secretaries will be set up to review, adjust and update the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship and other agreements.

"There was a proposal from Nepal to exempt additional customs duty of 217 items. We have identified 117 items which will be exempted and decision on other 100 items will be taken shortly," Mukherjee said.

The finance minister reiterated India's commitment to peace and prosperity in Nepal and assured support in concluding the peace process and drafting of a new constitution.

"We welcome initiatives taken by Prime Minister Bhattarai and the seven-point agreement signed by parties and are confident that people of Nepal through their elected representatives will come to a logical conclusion to the peace process and drafting of the constitution," he said.