Supplies to Nepal have normalised to “large extent”: MEA

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New Delhi, Feb 5: Supplies from India to Nepal, crippled for months due to the agitation by the Madhesi community, have “normalised to a large extent” as around 1,300 trucks are going to the Himalayan nation from here every day, the External Affairs Ministry has said.

Foreign office spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said Nepalese Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel will arrive here on February 7 on a two-day visit during which he will  hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Poudel will be here to discuss reconstruction projects in Nepal, Swarup said and hoped concrete dates for Nepalese Prime Minister K P Oli’s visit to India will be finalised after that trip.

Asserting that the supplies have normalised to a “large extent”, the Spokesperson said,”Before the logjam started, 1,500 trucks used to go (to Nepal). Now about 1,300 trucks are going.”

He said India welcomed the positive steps taken by the Nepalese government to address the concerns of the Indian origin Madhesi community.

“Two constitutional amendments have been passed. We welcome those as good, positive steps and hope that the remaining issues which the Madhesis have with the Nepalese government will also be sorted out in the sprit of reconciliation, flexibility, compromise and dialogue. We are hopeful that things will be on track,” he said.

The agitation by Madhesi leaders in Terai region bordering India paralysed services in Nepal and triggered huge shortage of essential supplies, including fuel and medicines, as the protesters blocked all border trade points between the two countries.

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The Madhesi community is opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces under the new Constitution and has been demanding adequate protection of their rights.

Three major demands of the Madhesi community include re-demarcation of the boundary, inclusion of proportionate representation and allocation of Parliament seats on the basis of population.

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