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August 2017 - Bilateral

  • Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Nepal on drug demand reduction
    The Cabinet on 23rd August gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Nepal on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and precursor chemicals and related matters. 

    The MoU lists out the areas of cooperation on drug matters between the two countries. It also indicates the mechanism of information exchange and the competent authorities in the two countries who are responsible for the implementation of the MoU and exchange of any information. 

    Cooperation on drug matters is expected to curb the illicit traffic of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals in the two countries. 

  • RBI appoints Committee to Link Home Loan Rates to Repo Rate
    Reserve Bank of India appointed committee on Household Finance suggested that banks link their home loan rates to the RBI's repo rate, the rate at which it lends to banks. 

    In the past three years, the central bank has reduced the policy rate by 200 basis points, but the weighted average lending rates have fallen by 145 basis points. 

  • Arun Jaitley inaugurates manufacture of light combat helicopter at HAL
    After the Defence Acquisition Council approved procurement of 15 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the PSU is set to start manufacturing of the helicopters at its Helicopter Division in Bengaluru. On 26th August, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will inaugurate the LCH production facility

    The basic version of LCH has been cleared by CEMILAC, a military certification agency. HAL designed the twin engine LCH of 5.8 tonne class featuring narrow fuselage and tandem configuration for pilot and co-pilot/weapon system operator. 

    The helicopter has indigenous state-of-the-art technologies, including anti-resonance vibration isolation system, crash-worthy landing gear, smart glass cockpit, armour protection and stealth features from visual, radar and infra-red signatures. It is equipped with a 20mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket and airto- air missile. 

    The helicopter can carry out operational roles under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes from sea level, hot weather desert, cold weather and Himalayan altitudes. 

    The LCH has demonstrated capability to land and take off from Siachen Range with considerable load, fuel and weapons, according to an official from the Ministry of Defence. 

  • India, Qatar discuss matters of mutual interest in New Delhi
    India and Qatar on 26th August discussed matters of mutual interest pertaining to bilateral, regional and international affairs at present in New Delhi. 

    The two sides reviewed progress on the follow up of key decisions taken during the high-level bilateral visits which have been contributing to building a mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries. 

    The Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who was in New Delhi on two day visit from 25th August held delegation level talks with External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj. 

    He also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over a letter from the Emir of Qatar. He separately met with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. 

    The visiting Minister assured India of continued Qatari support in energy security through uninterrupted energy supplies. Sheikh Mohamed conveyed appreciation for the contribution of the 6.3 lakh strong Indian community which forms the largest expatriate group in Qatar. 

    The Minister assured India of the continued safety, welfare and well-being of the Indian community and briefed the Indian side about new labour laws in Qatar which favour expatriate workers. 

    During the meeting, the Qatari side welcomed participation of the Indian companies in Qatar’s infrastructure development, including for the ongoing FIFA 2022 related infrastructure. On regional issues, Sheikh Mohamed briefed his Indian interlocutors about the situation in the Gulf region. 

    He was briefed about India’s position that peace and security in the Gulf are of paramount importance for the continued progress and prosperity of the region. 

    Terrorism, violent extremism and religious intolerance pose grave threat not only to the regional stability but also to the global peace and order. India is of the view that parties should resolve their differences through a process of constructive dialogue and peaceful negotiations. 

  • India, Nepal ink 8 pacts, review bilateral ties
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba reviewed bilateral economic and strategic ties in a meeting on 24th August following which the two countries signed eight pacts in areas including post-earthquake re-construction and checking drug trafficking. 

    The two leaders also jointly inaugurated the Kataiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur cross border power transmission lines. Deuba is in India on a four-day visit. 

    Of the eight pacts, four were related to utilisation of India’s grant component in the post-earthquake re-construction package in the areas of housing, education, health and cultural heritage. 

  • India, Qatar discuss matters of mutual interest in New Delhi
    India and Qatar on 26th August discussed matters of mutual interest pertaining to bilateral, regional and international affairs at present in New Delhi. 

    The two sides reviewed progress on the follow up of key decisions taken during the high-level bilateral visits which have been contributing to building a mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries. 

    The Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who was in New Delhi on two day visit from 25th August held delegation level talks with External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj. 

    He also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over a letter from the Emir of Qatar. He separately met with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. 

    The visiting Minister assured India of continued Qatari support in energy security through uninterrupted energy supplies. Sheikh Mohamed conveyed appreciation for the contribution of the 6.3 lakh strong Indian community which forms the largest expatriate group in Qatar. 

    The Minister assured India of the continued safety, welfare and well-being of the Indian community and briefed the Indian side about new labour laws in Qatar which favour expatriate workers. 

    During the meeting, the Qatari side welcomed participation of the Indian companies in Qatar’s infrastructure development, including for the ongoing FIFA 2022 related infrastructure. On regional issues, Sheikh Mohamed briefed his Indian interlocutors about the situation in the Gulf region. 

    He was briefed about India’s position that peace and security in the Gulf are of paramount importance for the continued progress and prosperity of the region. 

    Terrorism, violent extremism and religious intolerance pose grave threat not only to the regional stability but also to the global peace and order. India is of the view that parties should resolve their differences through a process of constructive dialogue and peaceful negotiations. 

  • India opens sluice gates of dams located on India-Nepal border
    India has informed Government of Nepal that sluice gates of dams located on India -Nepal border are open. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri conveyed to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Nepal Krishna Bahadur Mahara that the matter was promptly taken up with all concerned in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and they informed that sluice gates are open. 

    Mr Puri also said that the concerned authorities have been advised to take all precautionary measures, including moving population to safer areas. Mr Mahara had requested Indian Government on 12th August to open gates of dams due to heavy rain and flood in Nepal. 

  • India and ASEAN Youth Summit in Bhopal
    The India-ASEAN Youth Summit began in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. The five-day Summit will commemorative this year’s theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”. Around 100 delegates from ASEAN countries Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam participating in the summit. 

  • India, Iran reiterates their commitment to make Chabahar Port operational soon
    India and Iran have reiterated their commitment to complete and operationalise the Chabahar Port at the earliest. The port would contribute to bilateral and regional trade and economic development and also provide alternate access to land locked Afghanistan to regional and global markets. 

    Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is on a two day visit to Tehran, interacted with President Hassan Rouhani on 5th August, and called on the First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. He also held detailed exchange of views with Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran, Abbas Akhoundi. 

    In the meetings, both sides reviewed and positively assessed the progress in implementation of the decisions taken during Prime Minster visit to Iran last year, including the progress in the development of Chabahar Port. 

  • India-Bhutan new trade pact comes into force from July 29: Govt
    The commerce ministry has said the new agreement on trade, commerce and transit between India and Bhutan which has come into force from July 29, will further strengthen economic ties between the two countries. 

    The commerce ministry said in a statement in New Delhi on 31st July that the agreement provides for a free trade regime between the countries and it also gives duty free transit of Bhutanese goods for trade with third countries, 

    The bilateral trade relations between India and Bhutan are governed by this pact. The pact was last renewed on July 29, 2016 for a period of ten years. 

    Its validity was extended for one year or till the new agreement comes into force. The two-way trade stood at USD 808.72 million in 2016-17, up from USD 750.2 million in the previous fiscal.
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