Enhancing Bilaterial Ties: India To Commit Nu 45B for Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan

Email

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering thanked Prime Minister Modi for the invitation to visit India and for the warm reception accorded to him and his delegation.

(Source: Facebook/IndiainBhutan)

 

By Tshering Palden | Kuensel

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering went on a three-day official visit to India from 27-29 December, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Lyonchhen was also accompanied by the Foreign Minister and Economic Affairs Minister.

This is Bhutan’s Prime Minister’s first overseas visit after assuming office in November 2018. It coincides with the Golden Jubilee year of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan. It was also in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries.

Close ties between India and Bhutan

Prime Minister Modi also said that the two leaders visiting each other as their first choice of destination was a symbol of the shared commitment towards mutual cooperation on the path of development. 

After a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering, quoting Prime Minister Modi from his speech in 2014, said that India and Bhutan are close not because the two nations have shared borders but also because they have opened their hearts to each other. 

 

Photo: Facebook/India in Bhutan

 

“I’m here with volumes of love, care and affection from my King and the people of Bhutan so please send me back with no less love and care,” the Lyonchhen said.

Prime Minister Modi also stated that in line with the Government of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India is firmly committed to partner Bhutan in its quest for development and economic prosperity, based on the priorities of the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan.  

He congratulated the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan for the successful implementation of the 11th Five Year Plan, including development projects undertaken with assistance from the Government of India. 

The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen co-operation in all areas of mutual interest and to take their bilateral partnership to newer heights.

Government of India’s assistance package for Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan

The two sides then discussed the Government of India’s development assistance package for Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan. 

Besides the Nu 45 billion assistance to be allocated for Bhutan’s 12th Plan, the Government of India will also provide a transitional Trade Support Facility of Nu 4 billion over a period of five years to strengthen bilateral trade and economic linkages between the two nations. 

 

Photo: Facebook/IndiainBhutan

 

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said that the funding was a wonderful gift. It will enhance the trading systems of Bhutan and make Bhutanese export products and industries more competitive in the long run, through various trade facilitation measures. 

“We’ll devise a mechanism which will benefit the country and the traders in the long run,” the Lyonchhen said. 

Some of the potential areas of investment could be: development of human resource, policy development and digitalisation of the system, the Lyonchhen said. 

The Finance Secretary, Nim Dorji also said that trade facilitation is one of the most important elements to promote trade. 

“Under the digitalisation of the system, one of the proposals is the establishment of a national single window which would simplify all trade transactions and promote trade facilitation,” the Finance Secretary said. 

Implications of the implementation of the Indian Goods and Services Tax (IGST) in July 2017

After the implementation of the Indian Goods and Services Tax (IGST) in July 2017, Bhutanese products became more expensive for Indian importers. 

Bhutan’s Foreign Minister, Dr Tandi Dorji said that India will boost trade in certain sectors where the IGST is not applicable. Bhutanese products could therefore be more competitive in these sectors or products. 

 

Photo: Behance

 

“For instance, the IGST is not levied on ferrosilicon, organic agriculture and horticultural products, thus the exporters can benefit hugely,” Dr Tandi Dorji said. 

The Lyonpo said that the government will work closely with the local industries and the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) to find mechanisms and ways to see how they could better facilitate trade. 

“The implementation modality of the fund is not yet finalised, thus we will discuss with respective agencies and the BCCI to find ways to support better trade,” he said. 

While Bhutan has requested for IGST exemption on exports from Bhutan, the Indian government has maintained that the exemption is not possible under Indian GST laws. 

Discussion on the joint cooperation on hydropower projects between the two nations

Prime Minister Modi added that cooperation in hydropower projects has been an important component in the long history of India-Bhutan relations. The two Prime Ministers then reviewed the implementation of ongoing bilateral hydro-power projects in Bhutan and agreed to expedite the process.

They also reiterated their commitment to jointly develop 10,000 megawatts of hydropower generating capacity in Bhutan via the Sankosh Hydropower Project. 

“This is a matter of happiness that the work on the Mangdechhu project is going to be completed soon. We now have agreement also on the tariff of this project,” PM Modi said. 

The two delegations held another round of discussion today to finalise the power export tariff for the Mangdechhu project.

 

Mangdechhu hydropower project.

Photo: Kuensel

 

Moreover, Prime Minister Modi said that the ground station being built by the Indian Space Research Organisation in Bhutan is expected to be completed soon. This will benefit Bhutan in tasks such as providing weather information, telemedicine and disaster relief in the far-flung areas of the country.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering thanked Prime Minister Modi for the invitation to visit India and for the warm reception accorded to him and his delegation. 

He recalled the unique and historical ties of friendship and understanding that exist between the two countries. He is looking forward to working with the Government of India to further strengthen bilateral ties.

“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,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

This article first appeared in kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Bhutan Film Festival Held In Sikkim To Commemorate 50 Years Of...

Bhutanese celebrities and Sikkim’s local artists performed various traditional and cultural performances at the...

Jul 15, 2018 14:32

Art Exhibition ‘Land Of The Thunder Dragon’ Held To Celebrate 50...

Artworks by 16 Indian and four Bhutanese artists were shown at the exhibition.

Jun 09, 2018 14:55

Monk Turned Entrepreneur Produces Egg Trays In Bhutan To Minimise...

Thinley's egg trays are sold at a more competitive price than those imported from India.

Jun 10, 2018 15:42

Bhutan’s Newly Elected Prime Minister Lotay Tshering Unveiled The...

The Prime Minister and the cabinet minister-elects will receive ‘Dakyen’ from His Majesty The King on 7 November.

Nov 04, 2018 15:36

Bhutan-India Friendship Tennis Tournament Underway In Thimphu

The tournament received more than 20 players from the seven states of India and 45 players from Bhutan.

May 31, 2018 18:10

Bhutan is the best place to do business in the Indian...

Compared to its neighbours, Bhutan is still the considered the best place to do business in the region. India is ranked...

Nov 06, 2017 10:23

Latest

News

Australia supports Bhutan in its COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery

Extending support to Bhutan in its fight against COVID-19, the Australian Government has supplied medical equipment in response to the Royal...

Sep 22, 2020 09:39

Virtual Tsechu in Bhutan amid Pandemic.

Tsechu (Festival ) is one of the biggest religious celebrations of the Bhutanese year in every district in Bhutan. Tsechu has been held...

Sep 21, 2020 12:38

Features

The Heart Shaped Stone- Story to remember while you hike through Phobjikha Nature Trail.

Interesting Stories from the Trail

Sep 09, 2020 18:29

View from the Sky For Every Travellers Flying into Bhutan

Despite Boeing ranking Paro airport as 'one of the world's most difficult for takeoffs and landings, the views over the clear blue waters...

Aug 06, 2020 14:25

Sports

Football clubs in Bhutan gearing up for Bhutan Premier League (BPL) 2020

Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top national football tournament in Bhutan is set to commence on August 1.

Jul 24, 2020 14:33

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Business

Are Local Vendors Earning More Money Than the Civil Servant?

A Farmer from Lango, Paro gave up farming to be vendor while office goers are switching into agriculture as the remedy to curb their...

Jul 27, 2020 19:15

Once the booming Handicraft Shops in Paro Dying- Paro Today

Paro town looks so different in its history as tourist destination in Bhutan.

Jun 24, 2020 16:58

Travel

The Significance of Jela Dzong

The journey towards the most popular Druk Path Trek starts with a short climb up to Jela Dzong. Jela Dzong is perched on top of the...

Sep 19, 2020 13:57

The Longest Urban Hiking Trail from PangriZampa to Lungtenphu, Thimphu

This trail is a less explored pocket of paradise for trekkers and wanderers who are in search of natures hospitality and solitude away from...

Aug 05, 2020 10:40

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!