Dahal meets with Bush, Lavrov; Nepal’s Defence Minister attends military exercises in China; Nepal to import 60 MW of power from India; Transparency International: Nepal ranked 121 in Corruption Perception Index
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  • PM Pushpa Dahal met with US President Bush, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Cuban Vice-President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Russia promised support to Nepal to build its defence capability and in improving its infrastructure. Dahal on his part assured President Bush that the Maoists had given up arms in favour of the democratic process1.

    Nepal’s Defense Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, on a visit to China, observed the "Warrior 2008" military exercises conducted by Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on September 24 along with Nepal Army (NA) Chief Gen. Chatraman Singh Gurung and Defense Secretary Pratik Thapa2.

    Nepal would import 60 MW of power from India. An agreement to this effect was signed by the Nepal Electricity Authority with the Power Trading Corporation of India. India would supply the power through the Duhab-Kataiya and Tanakpur-Mahendranagar transmission lines. The deal followed PM Dahal’s visit and was intended to mitigate the problem of load shedding in Nepal3.

    Minister for Water Resources Bishnu Poudel stated that hydropower would be the foundation for initiating an economic revolution in Nepal. Emphasizing that Nepal would give contracts on the basis of competitive bidding to India and China, Poudel added that Nepal has the potential of generating more than the target of 10,000 MW of hydropower for the next ten years4.

    In domestic developments, Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) asserted that Madhes should be a vital stakeholder in any discussions related to the 1950 Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty5.

    In the latest Corruption Perception Index prepared by Transparency International, Nepal was ranked 121 among the 180 countries examined. The Index notes the perceived link between weak institutions, poverty and corruption and cites the gap between the rich and the poor as one of the catalysts for corruption6.