Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks held

The 6th annual Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks was held yesterday in New Delhi, India.

Foreign Secretary Sonam Tshong led the Bhutanese delegation, while Vijay Gokhale, Secretary (Economic Relations, led the Indian delegation.

As Bhutan enters the tail end of 11th Five Year Plan (2013 – 2018), the two sides reviewed the progress of GOI-sponsored projects under the components of the Project Tied Assistance (PTA) and Small Development Projects (SDP). India had committed Rs 45 billion (B) for the 11th Plan, of which Rs 28B was provided as PTA, Rs 8.5B for SDPs and Rs 8.5B as programme grants.

GoI had also provided Rs 5 billion for the Economic Stimulus Plan. A total of 83 PTA projects and 595 SDPs are being implemented during the current Plan. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the progress in the implementation of all these projects.

Bhutan expressed appreciation to GoI for its support for the 11th Plan. The Bhutanese side also thanked GoI for the timely and consistent disbursement of funds for the projects.

The Indian side assured GoI’s continued support for all the ongoing projects, including the release of the remaining committed funds before the end of the 11th Plan period.

The Bhutanese delegation shared broad objectives and priorities of the 12th Plan (2018-2023) and sought the continued support GoI. India expressed its commitment to support Bhutan’s 12th Plan and agreed to hold further discussions.

The two sides agreed to hold the next Development Cooperation Talks in Thimphu at a mutually convenient date.

The Bhutan-India Development Cooperation Talks are the overarching mechanism for discussing and reviewing India’s bilateral development cooperation and assistance to Bhutan.

Staff Reporter