India to contribute Rs 45b to Bhutan’s five-year economic plan

Published: December 29, 2018 13:36:08 | Updated: December 31, 2018 13:53:38

A file photo of the Mangdechhu hydropower project. Image courtesy of Alstom.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that India would contribute Rs 45.0 billion to Bhutan’s 12th five-year economic plan.

Narendra Modi announced the contribution after a meeting with visiting Bhutanese PM Lotay Tshering on Friday.

A transitional Trade Support Facility of Rs 40.0 billion over a period of five years was also announced to strengthen bilateral trade and economic linkages between the neighbouring countries.

Modi assured Tshering, who took over as PM last month, that India would continue to play the role of a reliable friend and partner for Bhutan, reports TOI.

The meet was aimed to cement ties with the new government and though India’s relations with China have improved, shadow of the military standoff at Doklam in 2017 only underlined the importance of stable relations with Bhutan.

The new five-year plan of Bhutan began this year and will end in 2022.

Underscoring the importance of hydropower projects in India’s relations with Bhutan, Modi said work on the Mangdechhu project would soon be completed.

Mangdechhu is a 720mw hydroelectric project on the Mangdechhu river in central Bhutan. The river projects will serve to increase the already close economic linkages with the Himalayan nation.

The two leaders reiterated their commitment to jointly develop 10,000 mw of hydropower generating capacity in Bhutan.

Tshering arrived here on Thursday on his first foreign visit after taking charge as prime minister.

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