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IOC to build new oil terminal at Motihari to supply fuel to Nepal

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has planned to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to Nepal via the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The old terminal functioning at Raxaul in Bihar will be shut down as it does not conform to the current OISD (Oil Industry Safety Directorate) guidelines. The decision to shift the terminal from Raxaul to Motihari has been taken keeping in mind the current safety guidelines.

Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) is a technical directorate that formulates the regulatory measures to enhance safety of the Indian oil and gas industry. It functions under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

The 69-km Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline will be built at a cost of Rs.325 crore. Nepal is giving at most importance to the project by giving it a national priority status. Also, as per the initial agreement, a new 200 km pipeline would be laid between Patna and Motihari and will be utilised if there is a delay in operation of the new terminal at Motihari. Already a pipeline between Barauni (where a refinery exists) and Patna exists. IOC expects to operationalise the Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline after 30 months of receiving statutory clearances. Nepal wants the pipeline to be extended up to Chitwan for which the IOC has been asked to prepare a detailed feasibility report (DFR).

Background

In August 2015, the India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a product pipeline. As a follow-up, IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation entered into a MoU for laying down of the pipeline. At the beginning, it was decided that the pipeline would be laid from Raxaul to Amlekganj, but later it was decided to extend it till Motihari. Recently, the fuel supply agreements between India and Nepal have been extended to five years. Nepal receives around 2 lakh kilolitres of fuel from IOC every month.

 

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India, Nepal ink seven Agreements

India and Nepal have signed seven agreements for cooperation in various fields.

These agreements were signed at a summit meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Nepali counterpart KP Sharma Oli in New Delhi.

This is first official foreign visit of K.P. Sharma Oli after he became Prime Minister of Nepal.

Signed Agreements are

  • MoU on Post-earthquake reconstruction assistance: It deals with utilization of US 250 million dollars Grant component India’s Assistance package for Post-earthquake reconstruction assistance of Nepal.
  • MoU on strengthening of road infrastructure in Nepal: It will enable speedy implementation of remaining work on 17 Roads in Terai area of Nepal.
  • MoU in the field of performing arts: Singed between Nepal Academy of Music and Drama and Sangeet Natak Academy. It aims to enhance relations in the field of performing arts between both countries.
  • Letters of Exchange on Transit Routes: (i) Operationalization of Vishakhapatnam Port. (ii) Transit between Nepal and Bangladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor.
  • Letters of Exchange on Rail Transport: (i) Rail transit facility through Singhabad for Nepal’s Trade with Bangladesh. (ii) Rail transport to and from Vishakhapatnam.
  • Inauguration of Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line: Initial supply of 80 MW from Nepal to India. It will be later augmented to 200 MW by October 2016 and 600 MW by December 2017.
  • Establishment of Eminent Persons Group (EPG): It will comprise 8 members with each country nominating 4 members. Its mandate would be to review bilateral relations and recommend measures including institutional frameworks in order to enhance bilateral ties.

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India-Canada hold Strategic Dialogue

The second India-Canada Strategic Dialogue was held in New Delhi on October 14. The dialogue was co-chaired by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.  Baird who is on a five day visit, also met PM Modi and discussed various bilateral matters.

PM Modi is set to meet the Canadian PM Harper in Australia, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

Strategic Dialogue

At the meeting, the two sides discussed a variety of bilateral issues including but not limited to defence, energy, nuclear cooperation, counter-terrorism, global and regional security.  The two countries are also working towards early conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).

The Strategic Dialogue between the two countries was first conceived in 2012 during the Canadian PM Harper’s visit to India. The first strategic dialogue was held in 2013 in Toronto

Nuclear Cooperation

As an outcome of the Strategic Dialogue, India and Canada are negotiating commercial contracts for the supply of uranium to Indian nuclear reactors. Also the two countries plan to cooperate in order to jointly build nuclear reactors with a higher capacity. Also, the two countries will jointly host a nuclear security workshop in India with around 15 countries. This is the first of its kind meeting that India would organize with another country

Skill Development

India will collaborate with Canada to improve its knowledge base in the arena of skill development. This cooperation would mostly be in the hydrocarbon and water management sectors.

Cooperation in oil and gas industry

The two countries agreed to cooperate in the fields of oil and gas. The investment opportunities in British Columbia, especially in natural gas, was highlighted by the Canadian side.

 Delegations

During the visit, different Canadian delegations will target different areas of co-operation with India.  Canadian International Trade Minister Ed Fast will lead a six day and three city trade mission to Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh to boost Indo-Canada trade and investment partnerships. The Canadian delegation is expected to be accompanied by representatives of 14 Canadian organizations, including small and medium sized enterprises, which are looking for opportunities to export to India.

Canadian Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai will lead a delegation of representatives of six Canadian organizations to Jaipur, Hyderabad and Mumbai to strengthen bilateral relations in regional security, education and trade.

Bilateral Trade

India is a priority market for Canada under its Global Markets Action Plan. Since 2010, Canada’s bilateral trade with India has increased 38% to $5.8 bn.

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