India to double assistance to Bhutan's 10th FYP

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New Delhi, Jul 16 (UNI) India will double its assistance to Bhutan for its tenth Five Year Plan (FYP) over that of the Ninth Plan and has decided to revitalise the standby credit facility for the Himalayan nation enhancing the amount to Rs 400 crore.

India also expressed commitment to developing 10,000 MW of hydro-power in Bhutan for export to India by 2020 through direct assistance and in collaboration with Indian public sector undertakings.

This was the outcome of meetings between visiting Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Y Thinley to India and his discussions with Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here during the past two days.

The Bhutanese Prime Minister, who is on a State visit to India from July 14-17, his first visit abroad after the country's transition from a monarchy to democracy, is accompanied by a high-level delegation including Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuck, Minister for Economic Affairs, Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu, Finance Minister and other senior officials.

''The government has decided to revitalise the standby credit facility for Bhutan enhancing the amount to Rs 400 Crore. The credit would be drawn on favorable terms by the Bhutan government as and when necessary, to ensure stability of its currency reserves and meet its obligations. An agreement to this effect will be finalized shortly,'' a spokesman of the External Affairs Ministry said here.

The spokesman said India had also reiterated its commitment to assist Bhutan in its socio-economic development programmes and reaffirmed full support to Bhutan's 10th FYP.

''The government IS committed to doubling its 10th FYP assistance over the revised outlay assistance in the 9th Plan period,'' he said.

Project-tied assistance by India would be carried out as per the existing implementation mechanism. Small development projects in rural areas would be implemented according to mutually agreed modalities. Actual assistance would be determined by implementation of agreed programmes and priorities.


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