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India plans Rs 5,400 crore in aid to Bhutan

India is working on a Rs 5,400-crore financial aid to Bhutan.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Published: August 27, 2013 1:53:41 am

India is working on a Rs 5,400-crore financial aid to Bhutan as its newly-elected Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay is set to visit New Delhi from August 30 to September 2.

According to top government sources,New Delhi and Thimphu are chalking out the financial assistance in three categories — Rs 4,500 crore for the 11th Five-Year-Plan,Rs 500 crore as an “economic stimulus plan” and Rs 400 crore for spill-over activities from the previous 10th Five-Year-Plan.

Sources said the only significant rider from the Indian side in the disbursal of funds will be to ensure “accountability”. There would be “checks and balances” so that the funds are utilised by the Bhutanese government “properly and judiciously”,they said.

Talks between Indian and Bhutanese officials started when a six-member delegation visited Thimphu last week. The Ministry of External Affairs Special Secretary of Development Partnership Administration P S Raghavan led the delegation,which opened the negotiations with Bhutan.

The proposed financial assistance will be used in areas such as improving infrastructure and road connectivity. The Himalayan nation’s roads are in a bad shape and the new regime had promised to better the road conditions.

Also,the government will support a variety of small development projects in Bhutan’s interiors. The new Indian envoy V P Haran has been tasked by South Block to work with Bhutanese authorities on identifying such projects.

Sources said that efforts are on to support the Bhutanese PM,who had promised to the country a turnaround in its economic situation.

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