Thinley Namgay  

Of the 82-project-tied assistance (PTA) projects worth Nu 28 billion (B) in the 12th Plan funded by the government of India (GoI), only 16 have been completed to date.

The remaining 66 projects worth Nu 25.19B are at various stages of implementation with the majority of them nearing completion.

Some of the completed projects are Pemagatshel dzong construction, urban infrastructure development in Kanglung and Nganglam, construction of 40-bed Dewathang hospital, improvement of the 45.5km Sunkosh-Dagapela highway, and development of Bondeyma industrial park, among others.

The progress of PTA projects was discussed at the second project monitoring committee (PMC) meeting for the 12th Plan between the two governments in Thimphu yesterday.

The PMC recommended submitting upward cost revision of nine projects with good progress, reconciliation of five projects, progress report of the PTA projects, and expediting the release request of Nu 5.548B, among others.

The PMC was co-chaired by the Gross National Happiness  Commission’s officiating secretary, Wangchuk Namgay, and  Amit Shukla, Director (North), Ministry of External Affairs of India.

Officials from the GNHC, Foreign Affairs and Finance ministries, Embassy of India in Thimphu, Project DANTAK, and the PTA project implementing sectors and agencies attended the committee meeting.

The GoI committed to assisting Bhutan with Nu 45B in the current Plan.

Wangchuk Namgay said of the Nu 45B, Bhutan received 31.6B, which comes to 70.26 percent of the total budget.  He said that Bhutan is confident to complete the remaining projects on time.

Amit Shukla said that the GoI was able to release the fund despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and that it was a testimony of friendship between the two countries. “The remaining funds will be disbursed on time.”

Officials said that the Covid- 19 pandemic has impacted project implementation, especially the projects that depended on the import of foreign workers and raw materials. 

Officials said all projects will be completed within the fund allocation.

The PMC members also visited project sites and commended the progress made in the construction of Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law in Paro and the construction of 150-bed Mother and Child Hospital in Thimphu, CSI Market in Thimphu, the four-lane road between Chubachu and Jungzhina in Thimphu,  and reconstruction of Wangduephodrang dzong.