Nepal has decided to propose two dates for the fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or BIMSTEC Summit on coming August end or early September. Nepal currently chairs the regional grouping.
According to the minister of Ministry for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Prasad Banskota, the BIMSTEC Summit will be held either on August 20th or 31st or on September 6th and 7th. The meeting of the Council of Ministers was held at Singha Durbar. The meeting also decided to form several sub-committees to make preparations for BIMSTEC Summit.
New BIMSTEC General Secretary, Shahidul Islam visited Nepal recently and held a meeting with the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, and Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi. PM Oli is said to have told the visiting general secretary that the upcoming BIMSTEC Summit should assess BIMSTEC’s role in the past two decades and chart out a plan of action with time-bound targets.
Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are the members of the grouping founded in 1997 with its secretariat in Dhaka. It works in 14 different areas of cooperation. The Kathmandu Summit could find more areas of help.
With SAARC rendered ineffective as a regional bloc, largely due to a longstanding rivalry between India and Pakistan, New Delhi has been giving more importance to BIMSTEC in recent years. Also the current chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Nepal is struggling to schedule the Summit. Since the 2016 summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad was canceled, Pakistan is making a fresh bid to host the SAARC Meet.
But due to India’s stance against “terrorism sponsored by its arch-rival”, the date of the summit remains uncertain.
Cabinet endorses staff structure
A meeting on 3rd of June (Sunday) endorsed the organizational structure and positions of employees at the district administration, area administration, border administration, immigration and prison management offices. Considering a large number of students still out of school in Province 2, the government decided to run the second phase of enrolment campaign. According to Minister Baskota, the government also agreed in principle to draft a bill for the protection of agriculture biodiversity. The Cabinet decided to table the bill designed to set up an administrative court in the federal parliament.
Reference: Kathmandu Post