Saturday, January 07, 2006

Unknow statues to renew transit treaty

Kathmandu , Jan 7 - Although the SAFTA came in force from 1st Janauray but there is still lack of statues to renew transit treaty between Nepal and India . However, Indian officials have said that the issue of renewing the Nepal-India transitst treaty was extended for three months, as the issue was still being discussed at the higher levels.India has made it clear that the treaty would not be renewed unless 'key issues' are resolved at a 'higher level'. The treaty, last signed on January 5, 1999, expired on Thursday.

After the second round of intense negotiations between Nepal and India to review the seven-year-old Nepal-India Transit Treaty failed in New Delhi this week, India decided to extend the treaty for another three months, pending completion of the review process that started in Kathmandu last month.

Nepali delegation was ready to negotiate on all those points which was raised during the negotiations talk. The Indian side also did not exhibit any reservations on it, said the source.But The Nepali team was startled when the Indian delegation said that rationalization of transit points did not meant reducing their number, as it was interpreted in Nepal.

The Indian officials soon made clear that via-Nepal access of Indian goods to other Indian territory and railway modalities were not the issues of greater significance. They, nonetheless, handed over Nepali team a list of about 60 items as sensitive list to be negotiated for restricted movement across the border.Items in the list include products which India imports from the third country import and claims of being deflected to Nepal, said the source.The source said that India has tied up the treaty with issues that are mainly related with the protection of Indian investments.

In all, India has been providing transit facilities to Nepal from 21 border points, but owing to inadequate infrastructure and poor security situation, Nepal has been using only six transit points for the bulk of its trade. They include Kakadbhitta, Jogbani, Raxaul, Sunauli, Rupediya and Dudhwa (Dhangadi).

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