Oct 10, 2015- The government on Friday formed three separate panels to hold talks with India in order to end the current political and diplomatic standoff and ease the supply of essential commodities, including petroleum products.
One panel is headed by Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey with a political mandate to hold talks with domestic leaders before going to India for dialogue.
Members of the Pandey-led panel that the Cabinet formed on Friday are Commerce and Supply Minister Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Nepali Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay, Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi and Commerce and Supply Ministry Secretary Naindra Prasad Upadhyay.
Though a detailed Term of Reference for the panel is yet to be made public, sources said the team will visit New Delhi soon to hold high-level meetings with senior Indian ministers and officials, communicate the ground reality in Nepal in the aftermath of the blockade and seek a solution. Foreign Ministry stated the government believes that the age-old ties between Nepal and India should be restored through high-level dialogue and diplomatic dealings.
Nepal is reeling under an acute shortage of essentials including fuel and medicines, due to obstructions on the border. India denies imposing any kind of embargo on Nepal and blames Tarai protests for the blockade.
Another team headed by Minister Thapa has been tasked with ensuring smooth supply of fuel from India, reads the Cabinet decision.
In order to seek alternatives to fossil fuel and explore availability of petroleum products in the country, the government has also formed another panel headed by Govinda Raj Pokhrel, vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission.
Published on: The Kathmandu Post (Oct 10,2015)