Indian Billionaires in Kathmandu

The Kathmandu Valley cooled down by the winter rain has been heated by the gathering of Indian politicians and effluents.

Billionaire Laxmi Mittal arrived on Sunday on a private plane to participate in the wedding of son of Arun Sarraf, who operates five-star hotels in Nepal and India, while Mukesh Ambani is set to arrive on Tuesday morning. Chief Minister of the neighboring state Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, Irrigation Minister Shivapal Yadav and State Assembly Speaker Madhav Pandey also arrived on Monday.

Sarraf’s son Varun is wedding Indian industrialist Binod Jayapuriya on Tuesday. Sarraf has been operating 13 five-star hotels including Yak and Yeti and Hyatt Regency in Nepal, and Asian, Unisons, Juniper, Robust, Chartered and Footstep Buddha Hotel in India. Groom Varun is the third generation descendant of Radhe Shyam Sarraf, who is considered a pioneer in hotel business not just in Nepal but even in India. The guests of Sarraf and Jayapuriya are staying in the hotels here. President of Bharatiya Janata Party Raj Nath Singh was also scheduled to arrive for the wedding but his visit was cancelled in the last hour. Sources claimed that the wedding ceremony has been held in Nepal as the Sarraf family had started hotel business from Nepal. The Mittals and Ambanis were also present in the wedding of Varun’s elder sister held in India last year. Indian businessmen, politicians and the relatives of both the families are participating in the wedding ceremony.

The dignitaries have arrived on chartered flights. The Tribhuvan International Airport Office said 10 planes have arrived until Monday evening and another three are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. “There has been pressure of private planes since Sunday,” General Manager of TIA Dinesh Shrestha said. He revealed that the Indian VIPs have chartered both small and large airplanes and claimed that there will is no problem for parking these planes.

TIA Office said security has been tightened with the impending arrival of the richest Indian, Mukesh Ambani. Internal and external security in both Yak and Yeti, and Hyatt Regency has been strengthened. The team of Indian politicians including Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav met with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Monday even though it is an unofficial visit and they are set to meet President Ram Baran Yadav on Tuesday. There has been no revelation about the people the businessmen will be meeting here in Nepal. A group of tourism entrepreneurs led by Managing Director of Gurkha Encounters Rajendra Bajgain has been managing the visit of Indian dignitaries.

Mittal is the second richest Indian and is ranked 41st in the world. The net worth of the steel magnate is US$ 16 billion, according to Forbes. Ambani, who is arriving Tuesday, is ranked 22nd among the richest persons in the world by Forbes. The net worth of Ambani–who is involved in petro chemicals, oil, gas and other businesses—is US$ 21 billion.

Karobar Daily News, 17 Feb 2014