KATHMANDU — Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to embark on his first official visit to India from May 31 to June 3. The visit comes five months after assuming office in December last year and is at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his visit, Prime Minister Dahal will have a meeting with Indian President Droupadi Murmu and engage in delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Modi on June 1 in New Delhi.

Preparations for the visit are underway, and it is expected that several agreements, memoranda of understanding (MoUs), and a groundbreaking ceremony will take place after the talks between the two leaders. Chief Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi is coordinating with relevant agencies to finalize the agenda, agreements, and MoUs to be signed during the visit.

To make the visit special, significant agreements are expected to be reached, according to officials familiar with the matter. Indian Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will also meet with Prime Minister Dahal on the same day. The prime minister will participate in various events in New Delhi before heading to Mumbai. After concluding his engagements in Mumbai, he will return to Kathmandu on June 3.

The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between Nepal and India, focusing on areas such as trade, commerce, water resources, transit, border and boundary issues, tourism, and cultural exchanges. The discussions will also cover topics related to the eminent persons’ group (EPG) report on Nepal-India relations, with an emphasis on urging the Indian side to receive the report in a timely manner. The EPG report was prepared by an eight-member panel established in 2016 to suggest a new blueprint for Nepal-India relations.

In addition to the EPG report, discussions will revolve around trade, water resources, and border matters. The visit is expected to yield significant agreements in various sectors, including the establishment of a chemical fertilizer industry in Nepal with technical and financial assistance from India. Agreements related to hydropower, energy trade, construction of transmission lines, and the development of an integrated check post in Nepalgunj are also anticipated.

Furthermore, the Indian side will hand over the expanded railway line from Jayanagar to Bijalpura, and the detailed project report for the Kathmandu-Raxaul railway will be shared. Other agreements in the pipeline include the construction of a motorable road in Chandani-Dodhara and a cross-border digital payment system to facilitate trade and tourism.

The visit will address various issues of mutual interest, such as water resources, air routes, trade, commerce, tourism, security, inundation, boundary and border matters, and high-level exchanges. The agenda for the visit is still being finalized, and discussions are ongoing in different areas to ensure fruitful outcomes.

Chief political adviser to Prime Minister Dahal, Haribaol Gajurel, stated that a wide range of topics will be discussed during the visit, including measures to reduce the trade deficit, expanding air entry routes, boundary disputes, energy cooperation, agricultural cooperation, and resolving disputes through diplomatic channels.

The visit holds significance in strengthening the bilateral relationship between Nepal and India and exploring opportunities for collaboration and cooperation in various sectors.