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Lawmakers advise government to utilize BIMSTEC for economic development



Kathmandu, March 18: In a session of the House of Representatives (HoR) today, lawmakers discussed on the Charter of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), urging the government to utilise this regional forum for the cause of economic development of Nepal.

Prior to this, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, proposed the meeting to commence general discussions on the BIMSTEC Charter.

Taking part in the discussions, the lower house members stressed that Nepal should utilise this Forum for poverty alleviation, the promotion of energy development, tourism, transport connectivity and infrastructure development, and for the mitigation of impact of climate change.

They also urged the government to strengthen the effectiveness of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The lawmakers called for accelerating the presence of BIMSTEC and SAARC simultaneously, advising to keep Nepal free from the clutches of geopolitics.

Raghuji Panta, Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai, Shishir Khanal, Metmani Chaudhary, Manish Jha, Abdul Khan, Amar Bahadur Thapa, Ranju Kumari Jha, Chitra Bahadur KC, Prem Suwal, Pradeep Poudel, Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, Binita Kathayat and Sanjay Kumar Gautam took part in the deliberations.

Responding to concerns raised during the discussions, the Deputy Prime Minister pledged to consider them seriously, reminding of the goals of the establishment of these regional forums for promoting mutual collaboration among the South Asian nations, expanding economic growth and cooperation.

With becoming an active member of the BIMSTEC, Nepal has been undertaking planned efforts to leverage benefits in the areas of development by identifying its priorities, the Minister apprised the House.

DPM Shrestha shared that Nepal has also made preparation for active participation in the Summit to be organised in Thailand by approving the Charter as most of the member countries have already approved it.

Saying the government was clear that SAARC should also be taken ahead equally along with BIMSTEC, he added BIMSTEC could not replace SAARC as SAARC has its own importance. The Deputy Prime Minister informed about the initiative he has been taking in the issue of giving momentum to SAARC.

BIMSTEC was established in 1997 and Nepal had joined BIMSTEC in 2004. There are seven member countries in BIMSTEC and Nepal is current chair of BIMSTEC.

In the meeting, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, presented an agreement related to establishment of ‘International Solar Alliance’ while Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Padam Giri, presented a proposal seeking consideration on amendment received from the National Assembly on ‘Bill designed to amend some Nepal Acts related to Prevention of Money Laundering and Promotion of Business Environment-2080’.

Similarly, Speaker Devraj Ghimire informed the House about one vacant post under proportional category of Janata Samajbadi Party as HoR member Manju Sharma Ansari passed away on March 17.
The House agreed on the proposal presented by Deputy-Speaker Indira Rana about reshuffle of members at different committees of HoR.

Rana directed Secretary-General of the Parliament Secretariat Padma Prasad Pandey to publish a notice in order to conduct election to the vacant post of President of Education, Health and Information Technology Committee at 1:00 pm on March 20. #Nepal


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