In­dia an­nounces Nu 45bn as­sis­tance to Bhutan

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Yen­ten Thin­ley from Thim­phu

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi an­nounced Nu 45bn (INR 4,500 crore) fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to Bhutan for its 12th Five-Year-Plan while de­liv­er­ing his press state­ment yes­ter­day dur­ing the state visit of Ly­onch­hen Dr. Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing to In­dia.

“This con­tri­bu­tion will be ac­cord­ing to the needs and pri­or­i­ties of Bhutan,” the In­dian PM said.

As this year is the golden ju­bilee year of the diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and Bhutan, PM Naren­dra Modi said it is a mat­ter of great hap­pi­ness for him to

wel­come Prime Min­is­ter Dr. Lo­tay in In­dia in this his­toric and aus­pi­cious year.

He also con­grat­u­lated both the gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple of Bhutan for suc­cess­ful con­duct of the third gen­eral elec­tions in Bhutan this year.

“I have as­sured the Prime Min­is­ter that as al­ways In­dia will play the role of a trusted part­ner and friend in the de­vel­op­ment of Bhutan,” the In­dian PM said.

Out­lin­ing that co­op­er­a­tion in hy­dro projects has been an im­por­tant com­po­nent in the long his­tory of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, the In­dian PM said,” To­day we re­viewed our co­op­er­a­tion in all re­lated projects in this im­por­tant sec­tor.”

“This is a mat­ter of hap­pi­ness that the work on the Mangde-Chhu project is go­ing to be com­pleted soon. We now have agree­ment also on the tar­iff of this project. Work on other projects is also mak­ing sat­is­fac­tory progress and we both want to fur­ther ex­pe­dite all the other projects,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to the joint press state­ment on the State Visit of Prime Min­is­ter of Bhutan to In­dia (27-29 De­cem­ber 2018) is­sued by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs yes­ter­day, the two Prime min­is­ters re­viewed the im­ple­men­ta­tion of on­go­ing bi­lat­eral hy­dropower projects in Bhutan, and agreed to ex­pe­dite their im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“They re­it­er­ated their com­mit­ment to jointly de­velop 10,000 MWs of hy­dropower gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity in Bhutan and in this re­gard dis­cussed the Sankosh Hy­dropower Project,” states the press state­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the press state­ment, the two Prime Min­is­ters also ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion at the progress of the 720 MW Mangdechhu hy­dro-power project in Bhutan, and looked for­ward to its early com­mis­sion­ing. They wel­comed the mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial un­der­stand­ing reached be­tween the two sides on the tar­iff for the ex­port of sur­plus power from Mangdechhu project in Bhutan to In­dia.

De­lib­er­at­ing on space science as the new di­men­sion of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, In­dian PM Naren­dra Modi ex­pressed hap­pi­ness that the GroundS­ta­tion be­ing built by ISRO in Bhutan to reap the ben­e­fits of the South Asian Satel­lite is soon go­ing to be com­pleted.

“With the com­ple­tion of this project Bhutan will get help in tasks such as weather in­for­ma­tion, tele-medicine and dis­as­ter relief in the far flung ar­eas of the coun­try,” he added.

The In­dian PM also ex­pressed his heart­felt grat­i­tude to the gov­ern­ment for hav­ing de­cided to launch the RuPay Cards soon in Bhutan.

“I be­lieve that this will fur­ther strengthen peo­ple to peo­ple re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries,” he added.

Ly­onch­hen (Dr) Lo­tay Tsh­er­ing is, mean­while, on a three-day state visit to In­dia from De­cem­ber 27-29 upon the in­vi­ta­tion of In­dia Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

A del­e­ga­tion level talk in Hy­der­abad House in New Delhi was held yes­ter­day af­ter­noon to re­view the progress of Bhutan- In­dia co­op­er­a­tion and dis­cuss ways and means to ex­pand the ties of friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tion for the ben­e­fit of the two peo­ple.

Ac­cord­ing to the joint press state­ment, PM Modi also con­veyed that In­dia will pro­vide grant as­sis­tance of INR 4500 Crore to­wards Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan, and a tran­si­tional Trade Sup­port Fa­cil­ity of INR 400 Crore over a pe­riod of five years to strengthen bi­lat­eral trade and eco­nomic link­ages.

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