We all know that India and Nepal share a unique cross-cultural border and relations which goes long back in time. Nepal shares a border of 1850 km. in east, south and west with five Indian states of Sikkim, Bihar, West Bengal Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and in the north with the Tibet autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China.
India has always supported Nepal in all its hardships and has always been on its side whenever the Himalayan nation faced the crisis, whether it was during the devastating earthquakes or the revolt of the Madhesis.
Last December India sanctioned an aid of $44 million to its neighbour for construction of technical institution. In a welcome decision, the centre has decided to step up its financial aid to Nepal, to 650 crores a 73 % increase from previous year allocation.
With the growing Chinese influence over Nepal, India reflects its concern on Indo-Nepal ties and finding new ways to increase transactions and exchange on various platforms.
The current financial aid granted to Nepal is almost twice the previous year’s. India’s aid to Nepal in 2017-18 stood at Rs 375 crore. however, India’s aid to the kingdom of Bhutan has surpassed all its foreign aids resting at Rs 1813 crore, which is part of the five year accord to help the royal government build hydro-electric projects at Punatsangchhu and Mangdechhu.
India has maintained steadfast relations with its immediate neighbours Nepal and Bhutan. Bhutan stood beside India when its troops in China were locked in a 73 day standoff in Doklam after the Indian government stalled the Chinese military’s attempt to built a road in the tri-junction region. The face-off between the two countries lasted for two months-beginning 16th June to 28th August.
In a report presented by the parliamentary committee on external affairs, India pledged to extend its financial aid to its neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Seychelles, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Myanmar.
But India is committed to strengthening its partnership with Nepal and Bhutan given the increase in Chinese influence in our backyard.
As per the reports, the allocation of funds under to Bhutan and Nepal for 2018-19 is a reflection of our expanded development partnership with the two countries and continued emphasis on expeditious implementation of our ongoing projects, in consultation and coordination with the respective governments, for mutual benefits,”.
India’s move comes especially ahead of China’s decision to approve an assistance of Rs 48 billion to Nepal for infrastructure development, including the recovery plan for the strategic Tatopani border that was devastated during the hellish 2015 earthquakes.
China and Nepal relations come under scrutiny moreover after the recent Leftist KP Oli government came to power, with speculations over its Chinese inclination raising concerns for India.
With India and Bhutan coming closer and Chinese influence of Nepal reflects a healthy partnerships among neighbouring countries, creating a quadrangular pact.
China and Nepal signed the Transit Trade Treaty back in 2016 to increase the rail and road connectivity between the nations for greater exchange of goods and services.
In an attempt to reach out to the new state of order in Nepal, the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with Nepal’s industry, commerce and supply minister Matrika Yadav to discuss the progress of bilateral trade and developmental aid.
India is Nepal’s largest trade partner and the partner for foreign investments with almost one third of Nepal’s transit route dependent on India.
To match the Indo-Chinese partnerships on diverse sectors India released its rise in an allocation of funds towards various projects to Nepal which will change the dynamics of Indo-Nepal relations taking them to new frontiers.