PM Dahal set to sign BRI Project raising debt concerns


September 15, 2023


PM Dahal set to sign BRI Project raising debt concerns

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'/File photo.

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, is reportedly in the final stages of preparation to sign a significant Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project, a move that could potentially expose the nation to a considerable debt burden.

Sources indicate that a meeting between Prime Minister Dahal and the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, addressed this matter on Friday morning.

Prime Minister Dahal is scheduled to depart for China from New York, USA, on September 23.

China has been exerting substantial pressure on the Nepali government to expedite the implementation of the BRI project.

Remarkably, Prime Minister Dahal appears ready to ink the BRI project in Beijing, despite the unresolved question of whether it involves a loan or a grant. To date, both Nepal and China have kept the specific project details under wraps.

The Prime Minister, while addressing the House of Representatives meeting on Friday, refrained from disclosing any plans regarding the BRI project’s signing.

Within the framework of the BRI initiative, China is advocating for the construction of at least three industrial parks in Nepal.

To deliberate on the potential visit’s agenda and bilateral agreements, the Council of Ministers convened an evening meeting on Friday evening.

It has been learned that Prime Minister Dahal has also indicated his intention to sign some projects under the BRI alongside Ambassador Song.

Publicly, Prime Minister Dahal has consistently asserted that he will endorse a “game-changer project” during his China visit. However, specific details about which projects will receive his signature remain undisclosed.

Dev Gurung, General Secretary of the CPN-Maoist Center, who recently visited China to prepare for the Prime Minister’s upcoming trip, disclosed that several vital projects are on the brink of being signed during the visit.

Gurung emphasized, “Diligent efforts are underway to secure agreements on pivotal projects during the Prime Minister’s visit, with the goal of ensuring its overall success.”

Prime Minister Dahal is scheduled to depart for New York at 6 pm on Saturday to participate in the United Nations General Assembly.

Subsequently, he will attend the inauguration of the Asian Games on September 23 in Hangzhou, China. Following his participation in the Asian Games, the Prime Minister will convene a high-level meeting in Beijing, marking a significant juncture in Nepal-China relations.