Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Upendra Yadav today rubbished the reports regarding an ambitious $3 billion project for the development of Lumbini and said no agreements have been reached to this effect.
Speaking at an interaction, Foreign Minister Yadav said no deal was signed between the Asia Pacific Exchange Cooperation Foundation and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation for the development of Lumbini.
“It’s just a rumour. UNIDO itself has clarified to us that no such agreement has been reached between it and APECF. This chapter is closed now,” said Yadav, who was a few days ago asked by a parliamentary committee to find out the truth behind the reports that said APECF, a Hong Kong-based NGO, and UNIDO had in June ‘signed a $3 billion deal’ to develop Lumbini, the birthplace of lord Buddha, as a religious hub.
The foreign minister’s statement, however, contradicts what Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, one of the co-chairs of APECF, has been claiming. Dahal a few days ago had claimed that the deal was genuine and it was signed with an aim to develop Lumbini as what’s the Mecca for the Muslims and the Vatican for the Christians.