These projects include health, education, culture, cottage and small industry development, livestock enterprise development and infrastructure

Committed to the long term well-being and prosperity of Bhutan and its people, India has handed over a cheque of Nu. 1.204 billion as assistance for the development of various projects in the Himalayan country.

India’s Ambassador to Thimphu, Ruchira Kamboj handed over a cheque of Nu. 1.204 billion to Foreign Minister of Bhutan, Tandi Dorji for development projects as part of the Project Tied Assistance committed by India to Bhutan under the 12th Five Year Plan, a statement issued by the Thimphu-based Indian embassy on Wednesday said .

These projects are spread over diverse sectors including health, education, culture, cottage and small industry development, livestock enterprise development and infrastructure, the release added.

A major part of this grant, amounting to Nu. 667.88 million, will be spent on improving the quality and access to education for the children living in the remote parts of Bhutan under the existing central schools project.

This project strives to enhance the facilities in various central schools and aims to provide economies of scale in terms of resource allocation. It is being implemented by various Dzongkhags and Thromdes across Bhutan.

India will also be providing funds to the tune of Nu. 149.49 million under this grant towards the procurement of medical equipment for the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck national referral Hospital located in Thimphu. The money would be utilised to purchase and upgrade medical equipment for the hospital for improved service delivery, reduced referral cost, speedy diagnosis and treatment.

For accelerating the growth of cottage and small scale industries in Bhutan, a dedicated market place has been set up at Changzamtog, Thimphu and a common service centre is being developed. Funds have been earmarked for the renovation of the market place and procurement of necessary equipment.

For development of Livestock Enterprise in Bhutan, funds have been allocated to improve livestock breeds, facilitate access to markets and introducing new livestock production technologies.

Major infrastructure projects such as Reinforcement of Bridges on Samtse-Tashichhoeling Road and Improvement of Jamtsholing Road would get funding under this grant amount.

Further, money will also be spent on the development of infrastructure in the College of Language & Cultural Studies at Trongsa, College of Natural Resources at Punakha and the Samtse College of Education.

Funds have also been earmarked for the preservation and restoration of Lingzhi Dzong and Sanchen Monastery. These works would include creation of sanitation, water and electricity supply facilities for the improving the living conditions of the monasteries.

For the 12th Five Year Plan of Bhutan, India has committed a financial support of Nu. 45 billion comprising Nu. 28 billion of PTA, Nu. 8.5 billion of assistance towards High Impact Community Development Projects and Nu. 8.5 billion of Program Grant assistance.

Since the start of Bhutan’s 12th plan, India has released Nu. 22.05 billion till date, which is 49 percent of the total commitment. To mitigate the effects of COVID - 19 pandemic, India has also provided early releases of Nu. 5.01 billion from the committed development assistance since March 2020.