News Digest (August 27 – September 2, 2020)


International Relations & Foreign Policy

MoFa to revise diplomatic code of conduct: Foreign Ministry has decided to “revise” and “reactivate” its diplomatic code of conduct amidst a series of unmonitored meetings between the political leadership and foreign diplomats which drew widespread criticism. Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali stated that the revised document would oversee the political leaders to warrant accountability. MoFa has also sent an officer to each of the seven provinces to ensure that the local and provincial governments are following the established protocol. Gyawali is committed to implementing the diplomatic code of conduct as per international practices and norms strictly.[1]

Kathmandu-Raxaul railway project update: India has expressed willingness to expedite the Kathmandu-Raxaul railway project and visit Nepal to conduct a study. However, Nepal has denied allowing the team to tour given the COVID-19 pandemic. India has approved to construct the railway on its own investment and technology.[2]

BIMSTEC’s summit uncertain: The fifth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)was scheduled for September in Sri Lanka. However, the representative decided to hold the meeting virtually in the month and will finalize the new chapter which will be adopted in the BIMSTEC. Almost two dozen meetings have been cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020.[3]

India grants Rs 480 million for small projects: India’s Small Grant Development Project Scheme has restarted after five years and has been incorporated in the budget for the first time after much controversy and contradiction. The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu launched the scheme in 2003, and since then the Nepali government had been requesting the embassy to spend the money under the budgetary system. India has offered Rs 480 million for infrastructure development at the local level who have already prepared 67 projects which can be funded through the aid.[4]





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