The outgoing Resident High Commissioner of India to Papua New Guinea His Excellency Sushil Kumar Singhal has paid a farewell call on Prime Minister Hon. James Marape at the Sir Manasupe Haus recently.
H.E. Singhal is leaving after the successful completion of his two years tour of duty as the Ambassador of India to PNG.
In farewelling H.E. Singhal, Prime Minister Marape informed him of the excellent bilateral relations between both countries and requested that the High Commissioner also act as an advocate for PNG in India, in terms of promoting PNG as an investment destination for Indian businesses.
In furthering discussions, the Prime Minister thanked the Government of India for extending a line of credit of USD 100 million ( K331,016, 219. 79 ) for various infrastructure projects which is yet to be successfully drawn down by the Department of Treasury.
He informed the outgoing High Commissioner that he would write to the Treasurer to look into it and ensure the successful draw down of this line of credit.
Prime Minister Marape also used the time to request for assistance on biometric technology to be availed to the PNG Electoral Commission to assist in our election processes and procedures going forward to help us minimise challenges associated with electoral fraud and double voting.
The Prime Minister also requested for the Indian Government to expand the existing military training in India to include medical training for Papua New Guinea Medical Students as well.
Prime Minister Marape also brought forward discussions for the creation of a travel bubble with India which is aimed at promoting the continuity of economic, political, business and trade and investment between both countries.
In response, the outgoing High Commissioner informed Prime Minister Marape that he would remind his successor to work closely with the PNG Government on this matters when he formally assumes office.
High Commissioner Singhal also raised concerns on visa on arrival for Indian nationals entering PNG which he claims has not been applied on a reciprocal basis as per the Visa Agreement between the Government of Papua New Guinea and India.
Another concern that the outgoing High Commissioner raised was in relation to COVID-19 restrictions in PNG as they apply to India visitors coming into PNG.