KATHMANDU, NOV 23 – Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled arrive in Nepal on a daylong visit on November 27, just three days ahead of the critical Constituent Assembly deadline, to sign the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which was to be inked during Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s India visit last month.
Though the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was signed during PM Bhattarai’s India visit on October 21, DTAA was postponed due to some technical reasons.
Highly placed sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian Embassy have confirmed the date of Mukherjee’s visit.
The last-minute differences over Article 30 of the proposed agreement, which deals with some provisions of the 1987 DTAA, delayed finalisation of the pact’s text.
Once sealed, the agreement will end the need for Indian investors to pay taxes back home on repatriation of income once they pay taxes in Nepal.
On Tuesday, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad met Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Baskota to lay the groundwork for the Indian finance minister’s visit. During his stay in Kathmandu, Mukherjee will meet President Ram Baran Yadav, PM Bhattarai, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal. He will hold a meeting with Finance Minister Barshaman Pun, with whom Mukherjee will sign the DTAA. Meanwhile, Nepal and India are all set to hold meetings of bilateral instruments to hammer out differences on various issues. The first meeting of the Joint Committee on Water Resources (JCWR) at the Water and Energy Secretary-level is proposed for November 24-25 in Delhi. The two countries are also set to hold meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) in the first week of December in Delhi. by Anil giri ekantipur