A much-anticipated power trade agreement ( PTA ) between Nepal and India is set to be finalized this month. According to the Ministry of Energy (MoE), the final accord is likely to be signed on October 20.
Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshatri and Indian Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha will give formal shape to the PTA document that was initialled in New Delhi last month.
The PTA moved closer to being concluded after the ratification of the initialled document by the Indian union cabinet in the last week of September. The pact allows the two countries to buy and sell electricity to each other.
Nepal’s cabinet had endorsed the PTA on September 18, 2014. The respective governments of the two countries had appointed their secretaries to complete the formal procedure.
A joint communiqué released by Nepal and India during the visit to Nepal of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 4 had directed the concerned authorities of both the countries to conclude negotiations on an agreement on power trade within 45 days.
Though the authorities have already missed the deadline, MoE officials said that the agreement would open a new horizon to power hungry India and Nepal which has been struggling to meet its internal power requirement.
“We have already invited the Indian side for the final agreement which is likely to happen sometime between October 20-21,” said Kshatri, adding that the ministry would finalize the date after corresponding with the Indian side.
“We will check if there has been any communication from the Indian side once the office reopens after the Dashain break on Wednesday and act accordingly.” Nepal had invited India before the beginning of the Dashain holidays.
The pact, which has been entitled Electric Power Trade, Cross-Border Transmission Interconnection and Grid Connectivity, will pave the way for trading electricity between the two countries.
As per the initialled document, the deal will authorize the two neighbouring nations to develop transmission interconnections, grid connectivity, power exchange and trading through governmental, public and private enterprises on mutually acceptable terms.
The other significant aspect of the PTA is that it allows licensed electricity producers, buyers or traders of the two countries to engage in cross-border electricity trading, including that through power exchanges, and to seek cross-border transmission access as per the laws of the respective country.
Any governmental, public or private sector enterprise of the two countries can engage in planning and constructing interconnection facilities and power trade.