KATHMANDU: India has increased grant aid to Nepal by 40 percent to IRs 4.2 billion (Rs 6.72 billion) in the annual budget for 2015-16 presented on Saturday. For this fiscal year, India had allocated IRs 3 billion for Nepal.
The southern neighbour has also providing loan assistance to Nepal, and the biggest being the recently-announced $1 billion line of credit. Nepal has been allocated the fourth largest amount of grant in South Asia after Bhutan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Bhutan is traditionally the biggest receiver of Indian grant aid and the total amount allocated for Bhutan stood at IRs 61.6 billon. Afghanistan has been allocated IRs 6.76 billion, while Sri Lanka has been approved IRs 5 billion. India’s aid to Nepal was reduced for the current fiscal year from the last fiscal’s IRs 4.5 billion.
Bangladesh will get IRs 2.5 billion in grant, and the grant allocated for Maldives is IRs 1.83 billion. India announces aid to South Asian and other developing countries and even Latin American and Eurasian countries. Indian grant support to Nepal includes that to BP Koirala Institute of Health and Science under India’s faculty support. Since 2013-14, India has also been also providing an annual funding of IRs 10 million to the hospital towards partially covering hiring of Indian faculty for the introduction of super specialty courses.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Trauma Centre in Kathmandu .Establishment of Manmohan Memorial Polytechnic in Biratnagar and a polytechnic at Hetauda are other health-related projects being undertaken with Indian aid, according to the Finance Ministry of Nepal. Indian grant is used in the construction of a Dharamshala at Pashupati Temple Complex, upgradation of 26km road from Dakshinkali-Kulekhani Dam and installation of 2,700 shallow tube wells in various districts.
Integrated Border Check-Posts on Indo-Nepal border areas—Raxaul-Birganj, Sunauli-Bhairahawa, Jogbani-Biratnagar and Nepalganj Road-Nepalgunj—are being constructed with Indian aid, which are expected to boost bilateral trade. Postal roads connecting Nepal-India border and East-West Highway are also moving forward. Cross- border railway links are being constructed at five locations on the Nepal-India border—Jayanagar-Bardibas, Jogbani-Biratnagar, Nautanwa-Bhairahawa, Rupaidiha-Nepalgunj and New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta.