Funds: The Government of India handed over Nu 1.97 billion to the Royal Government, yesterday.

Indian ambassador Jaideep Sarkar handed over the cheques to the Gross National Happiness Commission secretary Sonam Wangchuk yesterday.

Of that, Nu 414.32 million (M) is for Government of India Project-Tied-Assistance projects and Nu 1.5B for small development projects (SDP).

The release of funds include, among others, the preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) for Kuri-Gongri, which will be the largest hydroelectric project in the country with an estimated generation of 2,640MW.

The survey for the project began with an agreement between the Department of Hydropower and Power Systems (DHPS) and Water and Power consultancy services (WAPCOS) signed in April, 2014.

Besides the project, there are eight other projects including a government data centre for the Department of Information Technology and Telecom, strengthening of agriculture marketing and trade, and Royal Institute of Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS).

The budget also includes the construction of a rehabilitation centre and the final budget for the construction of the Election Commission of Bhutan office.

Projects like the Government to Community (G2C) and Government to Business (G2B) and government to government (G2G) are also covered by the fund.

For the small development projects, this is the second installment for the second batch of projects. The fund is 60 percent of the total budget for the projects.

While thanking the Indian government for the timely fund release, Sonam Wangchuk said that the Bhutan-India development cooperation projects were at an advanced stage of implementation.

“Efforts are being made to complete most of the projects on schedule,” he said. He requested the ambassador if the remaining release of funds could be processed at an early date.

Government of India has committed Nu 45B in the 11th Plan. Nu 28B for Project Tied Assistance (PTA), Nu 8.5B for Program Grant (PG) and Nu 8.5B for Small Development Projects (SDP).

In this financial year, between April 2015 – March 2016, the Indian government released Nu 11.2B. Of that Project Tied Assistance was Nu 5,889.659M, Small Development Project (SDP) was Nu 3.6B and Programme Grant (PG) Nu 1.7B.

As of yesterday, GoI released Nu 10.8B for GoI PTA projects, Nu 4.2B for Program Grant and Nu 4.5B for SDP. In total, GoI has released Nu 19.5B which is 43.43 percent of the total committed assistance in this Plan.

Tshering Palden