Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering is expected to visit New Delhi, India before the end of this year or the first Parliament session.

The date government has proposed to the Indian government is sometime towards the end of next month. Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said the proposal was conveyed to the Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale, who was in the country earlier this month.

The foreign secretary, on behalf of the Prime Minister of India, extended an invitation to Lyonchhen to visit India.

Lyonpo Dr Tandi Dorji said Lyonchhen would discuss the budget for the 12th Plan and India’s development assistance during the plan, among other issues.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country this year was postponed because of the Parliamentary elections this year.

He is also expected to visit the country to take part in the commissioning of the Mangdechhu hydroelectric project which the project management has said would take place sometime in January next year.

The two governments are also expected to finalise the electricity export tariff for the hydroelectric project before the commissioning. The tariff of the 720-megawatt project is closely tied to the revenue available for country in the 12th Plan.   

“Knowing the friendly relations with India and the assistance that they have given to the last two governments, we are also hopeful that they would also provide the same to this government,” he said.

The Indian government provided Nu 50 billion, including the Nu 5 billion for the economic stimulus plan, in the 11th Plan.

This will be the second visit by the prime minister in a year.  The former prime minister visited New Delhi in July this year. It was undertaken as one of the important high-level exchange of visits as part of the ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Bhutan and India.

Tshering Palden