Bhutan re­ceives the largest share of In­dian for­eign aid with 61.60 Bn

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

With 63 per­cent of its share in to­tal grants and loans, Bhutan re­ceived the largest chunk of In­dian for­eign aid with 61.60 Bn which in­cludes 49.6 Bn for Plan Aid and 12 Bn for Non-Plan Aid. This was re­vealed dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion on In­dian Bud­get (2015-2016): Op­por­tu­ni­ties for Bhutan in the cap­i­tal last Fri­day which was or­ga­nized by Em­bassy of In­dia in Bhutan.

In­dian am­bas­sador Gau­tam Bam­bawale said dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion said that within the South Asia re­gion, one of the value propo­si­tions that In­dia has been mak­ing over the past sev­eral years to its en­tire neigh­bor­hood, it’s SAARC and out­side bi­lat­eral was that all our neigh­bor must uti­lized and lever­age the grow­ing In­dian econ­omy for its own econ­omy devel­op­ment and so­cial progress.

“This is es­pe­cially to our very close friend and very neigh­bor­hood Bhutan”, said the am­bas­sador.

Nat­u­rally an In­dian econ­omy which is pro­jected to grow by 7- 8 per­cent for the next three years and pos­si­bly faster rep­re­sents a very big and huge op­por­tu­ni­ties. He added that, In­dia will be in­vest­ing in in­fra­struc­ture as well as in man­u­fac­tur­ing.

The ser­vices sec­tor which also form a larger part of the In­dian econ­omy will also nat­u­rally de­vel­oped rapidly in the com­ing years. There­fore, it will be nat­u­ral that Bhutan can not only sale more hy­dropower and at­tract more tourist from In­dia. Since Bhutan has the po­ten­tial for or­ganic pro­duc­tion, Am­bas­sador said that Bhutan should look for new sec­tor which can be de­vel­oped by Bhutan which there is un­lim­ited de­mand by In­dia.

“To in­crease agro pro­cess­ing such as in the form of jam, jelly, pickle and squash which have un­lim­ited mar­ket de­mand in In­dia. For in­stance, Druk jam is avail­able in and around Delhi mar­ket but it is not avail­able in Bom­bay, Chen­nai, Ban­ga­lore and Hy­der­abad”, said the am­bas­sador.

He fur­ther added that, if Bhutan is able to in­crease its pro­duc­tion of fruits and veg­etable and ex­pand the pro­cess­ing and bot­tling of th­ese prod­ucts, there is a huge scope for the sale of this item in In­dia.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) of Druk Pun­jab Na­tional Bank Mukesh Dave, said that fo­cus has been more on eco­nomic growth and how the fis­cal deficit is go­ing to be connect, the eco­nomic growth in fact is now look­ing up be­cause of the cer­tain hap­pen­ings in the past and by re­duc­tion in the cur­rent ac­count deficit, re­duc­tion of the oil prices, con­trol of in­fla­tion and all th­ese mea­sures has en­cour­aged the fig­ures of eco­nomic growth reach­ing up to 8.5 per­cent.

He said that they are also look­ing at bud­get for con­trol­ling the fis­cal over spend­ing; the public debt spend­ing has been ac­tu­ally the norm in the past they tend to over spent.

For the all 22 items, the rates of ba­sic cus­toms duty on cer­tain in­puts, raw ma­te­ri­als, in­ter­me­di­ates and com­po­nents have been re­duced so as to min­i­mize the im­pact of duty in­ver­sion and re­duce the man­u­fac­tur­ing cost in sev­eral sec­tors. This may re­sult in re­duc­tion of the im­port cost for Bhutan, as a num­ber of items in­cluded in the said list re­sult in INR out flow, he added.

The CEO fur­ther added that there is a di­rect cor­re­la­tion with the mea­sures and its im­pact on Bhutan and some other ar­eas where im­pact on Bhutan can be in­di­rect or can open ar­eas of op­por­tu­ni­ties are ex­cise and cus­toms on petrol and diesel, re­duc­tion of in­di­rect taxes, eases of do­ing busi­ness, em­pha­sis on make in In­dia and North-Eastern part of the coun­try brought in the main stream.

He added that the launch of im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture projects like All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences (AIIMS) in As­sam and set­ting up of Cen­tre for film pro­duc­tion, an­i­ma­tion and gam­ing in Arunachal Pradesh would ben­e­fit Bhutan.

“Any devel­op­ment in the bor­der­ing states is a wel­come sign for Bhutan, for it pro­vides busi­ness and trade devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties”, said the CEO.

The CEO said that the im­pact of the re­forms ini­ti­ated in the bud­get will take time to be vis­i­ble but it can be seen as an­other pos­i­tive for­ward step in strength­en­ing of Indo-Bhutan ties.

Mean­while, the In­dian fi­nan­cial year will begin from April 1, but the im­pact will felt from June.

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