Cooperation: The 5th Annual Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks was held yesterday in Thimphu, according to a press release issued by the foreign affairs ministry.

With Bhutan’s 11th Five Year Plan entering its fourth year, the two sides reviewed the overall progress of PTA and SDP projects. The Indian side endorsed reprioritisation of 30 projects and change of scope in five projects proposed by the Royal Government under the Project Tied Assistance (PTA) component of the Government of India’s  assistance to the 11th FYP.

The Bhutanese side thanked the Indian side for the timely and consistent disbursement of funds and also highlighted the fund release priorities for the remaining year of the 11th FYP.

The Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks is the over arching mechanism for discussing India’s bilateral development assistance to the Royal Government. India has committed Nu 28 billion (B) as PTA, Nu 8.5B for Programme Grant and Nu 8.5B for Small Development Projects for Bhutan’s 11th Five Year Plan (July 2013 to June 2018).

India has also granted Nu 5B for the Economic Stimulus Plan. A total of 83 PTA projects and 596 SDPs are being implemented during the current Plan period.

The two sides agreed to hold the next annual Development Cooperation Talks in New Delhi, India in mid-2017, on a mutually agreed date.

“The 5th Annual India-Bhutan Development Cooperation Talks was successfully held in a friendly atmosphere in keeping with the age old ties of friendship between the two countries,” states the press release.

The Bhutanese delegation was led by foreign secretary, Tshering Dorji and the Indian delegation by the secretary of economic relations of the Ministry of External Affairs, Amar Sinha.

Staff reporter