…two govts signed seven MoUs yesterday

Dechen Dolkar

Bhutan and the Government of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance co-operation in the field of energy efficiency and energy conservation measures in Thimphu yesterday.

The MoU  was signed between the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, government of India and the Department of Energy, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, government of Bhutan.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the exchange of seven MoUs between their respective foreign secretaries, further strengthening the scope and depth of the cooperation and friendship between Bhutan and India.

Both Prime Ministers agreed that the Bhutan-India energy partnership has the potential to benefit both countries by enhancing energy security, strengthening their economies, generating employment, enhancing export earnings, and contributing to the further development of industrial and financial capacities.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bhutan, both governments agreed to review and finalize project-specific implementation modalities for new projects, including reservoir hydro projects.

The Government of India will also facilitate necessary access to financing from financial institutions in India as well as the market for power sales for new and upcoming hydro-power projects in Bhutan.

Both governments agreed to engage in the development of new energy projects in the fields of hydropower, solar and green hydrogen, including through the participation of Indian entities as strategic partners.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that there are unprecedented opportunities to further strengthen this mutually beneficial bilateral clean energy partnership, including through the development of new energy projects and trade in electricity.

It was also agreed that market access to Bhutanese power producers will be facilitated by applicable domestic regulations and procedures, through mutually agreed arrangements and delivery points.

The two countries also agreed to hold regular consultations for enabling investments in energy projects of Bhutan, and for ensuring seamless cross-border trade in electricity.

Both Prime Ministers agreed to expedite the movement on projects and initiatives based on the Joint Vision Statement for mutual benefit.

MoUs were also signed between the two governments on cooperation in sports and youth and the general supply of petroleum, oil, lubricants (POL), and related products from India to Bhutan.

An MoU was also signed on the agreement for recognition of the official control exercised by the Bhutan Food and Drug Authority (BFDA) by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Additionally, MoUs were signed between the Bhutan Food and Drug Authority and the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission on cooperation concerning the sharing of reference standards, Pharmacopoeia, vigilance, and testing of medical products.

An MoU between the National Knowledge Network of India (NKN), National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and Government Technology (GovTech), Agency (Druk Research and Education Network) on Peering Arrangement was also signed.

Furthermore, MoUs were signed on a joint plan of action on space cooperation between the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Government Technology Agency.