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Nepal-India IGC meeting scheduled for December 21-22

The Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) meeting between Nepali and Indian commerce secretaries is going to be held in Kathmandu on December 21-22.
As per the provisions of the India-Nepal Treaties of Trade and Transit and the Agreement for Cooperation to Control Unauthorised Trade, the IGC meeting of the senior government officers of India and Nepal is being held in Kathmandu on December 21-22, said Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, here today.
The meeting will make efforts to resolve outstanding issues and seeking new avenues to boost trade ties between the two South Asian neighbours, he said, adding that the Indian team will be led by commerce secretary of India S R Rao.
The Nepali delegation will be led by commerce secretary Madhav Prasad Regmi.
The IGC meeting provides a platform for review of implementation of past agreements besides discussing new measures to facilitate bilateral trade and investment, he added. “It is expected to discuss issues relating to bilateral trade between India and Nepal, transit facilities provided by India to Nepal to facilitate trade with third countries, investment promotion, improvement of infrastructure at land customs stations, day-to-day problems in regulation of Nepalis traffic-in-transit, issues related to Indian investment in Nepal.”
Though the IGC meeting should have taken place every six months alternately in Kathmandu and New Delhi, it is taking place after three years gap since December 2011 due to prolonged political transition in Nepal.
The officials, who are meeting for bilateral talks in Kathmandu, are expected to discuss on amendment of the existing transit treaty to facilitate exports of third country goods to overseas markets via Indian ports and transport of vehicles imported from third countries through containers.
Nepal is also requesting India to open up additional trade routes to facilitate international trade, apart from simplification non-tariff barriers like delay in clearance of goods.
Since the meeting has not been held since last three years, there is a gamut of issues between the two countries that need to be discussed in the IGC.
Nepal is planning to ask India to settle outstanding dues that Nepal should have received from Indian authorities under Duty Refund Procedure (DRP). Though India had agreed to scrap the DRP from 2011, according to Nepal-India Trade Treaty signed in 2009, it has not yet settled its dues.
Likewise, Nepali side is asking to remove 12 per cent Countervailing Duty (CVD) on Nepal goods.
“India has recently removed CVD from 168 products,” said deputy chief of the mission at the Indian Embassy Joy Deep Majumdar. “But it could be discussed on how to proceed with remaining few products that have attracted CVD to protect Indian industries,” he added.
The IGC meeting is also expected to discuss on removal of restriction on circulation of Indian bank notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denomination in Nepali market, where it has been banned since long, apart from asking India to let allow imports of cow of improved breeds from India.