Bhutan talks with India for 11th plan budget

In less than three week into the power, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has ventured into most critical phase of national economic development plans at officials from Bhutan and India sit for talks. According to statement from India’s external affairs ministry, the talks started today and will continue for three days.

The talks underway in Thimphu will decide the level of economic support that India can provide in 11th five year plan, which should have started in July 1 this year but was pushed due to parliament elections.

Bhutan has requested Nu 45 billion for the plan besides Nu 5 billion for Economic Stimulus Plan. Being the largest donor, India agreed to provide 74 percent of the total 10th five-year plan though Bhutan is still to receive Nu 5.7 billion of the promised amount.

Foreign secretary Yeshey Dorji and Indian external affair’s special secretary for development partnership administration P S Raghavan are leading the talks teams.

During the recent visit to Bhutan, India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh had assured Bhutan of India’s financial assistance to its development activities. The talks are likely to finalise assistance areas to be formally announced and signed during PM Tshering Tobgay’s India visit next week.

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