The government has decided to establish a Nepali Embassy in Portugal.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Thursday decided to establish the embassy. It recommended the name of Sanil Nepal to head the mission, according to Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rekha Sharma, who is also the government spokesperson.
As per the constitutional provision, the President appoints diplomats to their positions in the designated countries once their names are endorsed by the parliamentary hearing committee following the recommendation by the government.
It is estimated that over 20,000 Nepalis are currently living in Portugal.
Nepal and Portugal established diplomatic relations on September 1, 1976. Nepal’s ambassador to France is concurrently accredited to Portugal while the Portuguese Embassy in New Delhi is concurrently accredited to Nepal. Similarly, the countries have maintained their Consulates in each other’s capitals.
The meeting also decided to donate one month’s salary of the prime minister and Cabinet ministers to earthquake survivors through the government relief fund.
At least 153 died in the quake that rattled Jajarkot and Rukum West districts on November 3.
The meeting also decided to take ahead the construction of Biratnagar, Mulpani and Bharatpur cricket stadiums as national pride projects.
“Nepali cricket national team has achieved great success. It was also discussed in the meeting,” said Minister Sharma. “The government has now decided to list the Biratnagar, Mulpani and Bharatpur cricket stadiums as projects of national pride.”
The meeting further decided to provide Rs5 per litre to the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project out of Rs10 that is levied on fuels except cooking gas as infrastructure taxes.
The government faces the daunting task of generating resources for the development of the 1,200MW Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project whose field office was inaugurated by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Ghyalchowk in Gorkha district in July.
Officials say that this storage-type project is important for the country’s energy security as Nepal has been reliant on India for power in the winter even though the country produces excess power in the summer.
However, the estimated cost of its development is $2.59 billion, according to the Detailed Feasibility Study submitted by French-Nepali joint venture—TRACTEBEL Engineering SA France and JADE Consult (Pvt) Ltd Nepal—in late 2015.
Now, in 2023, the cost will significantly rise due to inflation in the last eight years, according to officials.
Published on: 10 November 2023 | The Kathmandu Post