Tag Archives: trade

India puts #Nepal on Ventilator Support by Blockading the Country’s Imports (BBC Report)

(Translation of a report by senior journalist Anil Yadav, first published in BBC Hindi. You can read the original report here. A Nepali translation of the report is available on the BBC Nepali website.)

Translated by nepalforeignaffairs.com team.

bbc hindiThe slogan of Bajaj’s Pulsar motorbike roars, “Fear the Black.”

In these times of blockade on Nepal, Indian villages surrounding the border town of Sunauli just love this motorbike as the biggest means of petrol black-marketing into Nepal simply because its fuel tank holds 15 liters.

Read: A controlled Indian blockade on Nepal (BBC report)

Unemployed and students hire a Pulsar for 300 rupees a day, get the tank filled for 70 rupees per liter and sell it for 125-130 rupees a liter in Nepal right across the border.

Whoever makes more trips makes the evening more colorful. Other motorbikes are also used for petrol smuggling but profits are small because they have smaller tanks.

manojsinghThese boys, driving their motorbikes in high speed, have started wearing masks, not to prevent the dust from the fields but to sneak out of the eyes of extortionate police and berating petrol pumps.

Travel agencies are seen killing time but drivers are making money filling tanks of their taxies.

Blockade on Nepal has produced young investors, whose stories you get to hear at petrol stations. A young man from the village Thuthibari near a small border check-post, 25 kilometers away from Sunauli, had bought a second-hand motorbike for 15000 rupees. Having paid it off, he is now sitting on money.

Nepal’s Madhesi protesters had shot a boy carrying diesel into Nepal from the neighboring village Bargadawa few days ago. The Pulsar-boys refrain from talking about him.

For them, this incident is an exception, which took place not because of smuggling, but of personal fights.

151210160401_nepal_india_border_petrole_crisis_01_624x351_gettyThose unable to manage a motorbike are using bicycles to pass jerry cans filled with diesel. It goes to the extent that the women and girls from poor families have made their day buying 5-7 liters petrol out of borrowed money.

A Chat-boy (Chat is an Indian fast food) has put his cart at the petrol station nearNautanawa bypass, just a little further from the Commandant Office of the Indian Border Security force-SSB.

Until last month, his cart would stand at the gate of a nearby school. The cart-men say, “Where the boys there the cart. Those who never had 10 rupees before are now making 1000-1500 rupees a day.”

Long queue of jerry cans was seen atanother petrol station. The waiting women were asking pump-personnel to fill faster so that they could go into Nepal across the No Man’s Land via paddy fields, do their business and return back before the evening grew dark.

151210160953_nepal_border_indian_oil_petrole_624x351_getty

Villages near the borders are quickly filling 1-2 cylinders of cooking gas at homes. One cylinder costs 720 rupees in the black market. It sells for a whopping 1500 rupees in Nepal’s Belahiya across the border. The prices go up to 2500-3000 rupees after they reach Bhairahawa and Kathmandu.

Flourishing black market has given hard time to the businesses in Sunauli. Their support boys have left jobs to join the new opportunity.

There is no sight of rickshaw-pullers in the villages near the border; labors are in scarcity in this season of wheat-sowing. The blockade on Nepal has bestowed them with an unprecedented money-making opportunity.

151210080205_nepal_sunauli_gorakhpur_624x351_manojkumarsingh_nocreditThey want this situation to continue long. They often cite a famous, old saying which means: when you live in border, you make easy money and you need not worry for having no studies.

A villager standing near a private hospital in the town of Farenda said, “India has put Nepal on ventilator-support. The family members of such patients pay any amount of money to the doctors. Nepal is also paying to these villagers.”

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American Diplomatic Cable: US Criticizes India for Unfairly Treating Nepal

…we remain deeply concerned over India’s apparent unwillingness to collaborate fully in regional efforts which stand to bring much-needed, long-term benefit to poverty-stricken Nepal.

2003-03-04 04:50 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 000382 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR SA DAS DON CAMP, SA/INS, AND SA/RA
STATE PLEASE PASS AID/ANE - D MCCLUSKEY, C LOWRY, G
WEYNAND, J WILSON
LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL
NSC FOR E MILLARD 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/03/2008
TAGS: EAID ECIN ENRG PREL
SUBJECT: INDO-NEPAL CROSS-BORDER ENERGY TRADE STAGNATES 

REF: KATHMANDU 314 

Classified By: DCM Robert K. Boggs, for reasons 1.5(b) and (d). 

ś1.  (C) SUMMARY: Nepal's Minister for Water Resources Dipak
Gyawali is sharply critical of India's policies on
cross-border energy trade.  He told us that he believes New
Delhi focuses on the strategic aspects of water and energy to
the exclusion of economics.  Despite Nepal's current power
surplus, Gyawali understands that Nepal will need to develop
storage capacity in the future, in addition to slated
run-of-the-river projects, in order to compensate for the
high seasonal variability of water flows.  He believes that
joint venture models have the greatest potential for tapping
Nepal's huge hydroelectric potential.  In our view, India's
resistance to joining South Asian regional initiatives is
holding back the economic development of both countries and
will impede national as well as donor-funded efforts to
alleviate South Asia's poverty.  Please see action request
for Department and Embassy New Delhi in final paragraph.  End
Summary.

Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: US Criticizes India for Unfairly Treating Nepal

Will India Allow Nepal-Bangladesh Trade?

After agreeing to a rail link between Nepal and Bangladesh, will India allow the two countries to use that?It didn’t happen in 1976 when Bangladesh and Nepal signed a transit agreement for boosting bilateral trade but failed to implemented it as India did not allow its territory to be used for passage at that time. Here’s a report that appeared in a Bangladeshi newspaper that caught our attention:

Doubt over benefit from Nepal rail link: Bangladeshi paper

Analysts emphasise two-way transit, use of Chittagong and Mongla ports by the Himalayan country. By Sajjadur Rahman/ The Daily Star (Bangladesh)

A rail transit between Bangladesh and Nepal, as desired by India at the foreign secretary level talks in Dhaka, could only be fruitful if Nepal is given a go-ahead for external trade through the use of Bangladesh’s Mongla and Chittagong ports, say analysts.

“This is not very clear whether Nepal will be allowed to use Bangladesh ports for its exports and imports,” said Dr M Rahmatullah, a noted transport expert and former director (transport) of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap).

No side will benefit from the proposed transit facility unless the Himalayan landlocked country does its foreign trade via Bangladesh, viewed Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

“What I have understood from the talks it must be a two-way traffic and Nepal should be allowed to go to a third country via Bangladesh,” said Rahman of the private think tank. Continue reading Will India Allow Nepal-Bangladesh Trade?