The meeting also discussed power projects undertaken by Indian private firms and decided to hold a meeting of the Pancheshwor Development Authority in Kathmandu in February ahead of Oli's proposed India visit.
The Pancheshwor project is a key power project jointly undertaken by the Indian and Nepali governments and has a 3,240 MW potential besides capacity to provide irrigation facilities to thousands of hectares of land in both countries.
Nepali officials said that other stalled meetings like secretary-level meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) -- earlier scheduled in September; a joint secretary-level meeting of Joint Committee on Water Resources (JCWR); and a meeting of the Nepal-India Bilateral Consultative Group on security issues were in the pipeline. The third meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission -- the highest bilateral mechanism between the two countries -- was also planned, officials here said.
Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had suggested that the meeting be held ahead of Oli's visit when she met her Nepali counterpart Kamal Thapa recently in New Delhi. Nepal Premier Oli has on Tuesday raised a question-mark over his visit to India next month, averring that it will not be appropriate for him to visit New Delhi as long as a blockade of the Nepal-India border continues. A now more than five-month-old anti-Constitution protest by Madhesis in the southern Nepali Terai has led to a blockading of a major portion of the 1,868-km open border that the landlocked Himalayan nation has with its southern neighbour.
Most of the 41 transit and customs points along the southern portion of this open border have been besieged by the Madhesi protestors who are demanding, among others, a redrawing of the boundaries of the provinces in Nepal as proposed in the new Constitution -- promulgated on September 20 last year; and representation in Parliament on the basis of population.
The Madhesis also seek proportional representation in government jobs and restoration of rights granted to them in the interim constitution of 2007 which the new charter has snatched away. An India visit by Oli, the first foreign tour by him after assuming the office, is likely to take place in late February with preparations apace, according to reports in the Nepali media.