India said it will continue to support Bhutan in its development effort

Commending India’s role in the socio-economic transformation of Bhutan, the country's Foreign Secretary has appreciated the release of funds for various projects, keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating in the third India - Bhutan Development Cooperation Talks held in a virtual mode on Monday, Bhutan's Foreign Secretary Kinga Singye also highlighted the impact of India-funded projects at the grassroots level, said the Ministry of External Affairs in a press release.

In order to take ahead India’s development partnerships with Bhutan, the two sides reviewed the overall progress of the ongoing projects.

While the delegation from Bhutan was led by Foreign Secretary Singye, the Indian Delegation was led by Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs Rahul Chhabra. Ambassador of India to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj also attended the talks.

During the talks, both sides also agreed to implement some new PTA projects across various sectors including road infrastructure, water management, industrial parks and COVID-19 management.

The Bilateral Development Cooperation Talks is an important bilateral mechanism to review the entire gamut of India’s development partnership with Bhutan.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, with Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023) completing its third year, the two sides reviewed the overall progress of the ongoing Project Tied Assistance (PTA) projects, as well as the SDPs/HICDPs.

The government of India has committed Rs 4500 crore for the implementation of development projects and Rs 400 crores for the transitional Trade Support Facility during Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018 - 2023).

77 large and intermediate projects and 524 Small Development Projects (SDPs)/ High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) are at various stages of implementation under the 12th Five Year Plan.

The two sides agreed to hold the next Development Cooperation Talks on a mutually agreed date.

“India deeply values its privileged partnership with Bhutan. The Indian side remains committed to continue to support Bhutan in its development efforts,” MEA said.