The Embassy of India organized a seminar on “India’s Journey Since 1947: Reflections from Bhutan” as part of the celebrations of 70 years of India’s Independence this year.
The speakers for the seminar were retired Justice Sonam Tobgye, who spoke on the experience of India’s democracy, former Home Minister and Ambassador to several countries, Lyonpo Dago Tshering who spoke on India’s role in the world and the third speaker, the governor of the Royal Monetary Authority, Dasho Penjore spoke on India’s economic development so far. The session was moderated by the Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar.
The seminar was also attended by the Ministers, senior officials and other dignitaries from India.
Justice Sonam Tobgay said that the 15th of August is a providential and respectful day when India made a tryst with destiny. He said that the Indian democracy has been very significant during the drafting of the constitution of Bhutan and on the ongoing journey of democracy of Bhutan because of India’s inclusive democracy.
Lyonpo Dago Tshering enlightened the mass on the historic ties between the two countries which began after the visit of the First Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and how the treaty of 1949 was reaffirmed by the updated treaty of Friendship in 2007 which was signed by His Majesty the King and Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Lyonpo also highlighted how India is rising up as a power and as an economic giant both in the region and the global arena.
The governor of RMA, Dasho Penjore said that the growth of Indian economy has been very impressive at 8% and shared that the major economic reforms in India has had tremendous impact in the Bhutanese economy. He also said that the Indian economic growth has been sustained through a focus of liberalization, prioritization and outward orientation through the late 1980’s and there on.
“While the India’s economic journey is filled with successes, there were also many limitations but it was journey of leaders who were the strong agents of change who recognized the needs of the country to constantly reinvent the new ways of growth.” The governor also said the RMA and the Reserve Bank of India is closely working with together to connect Bhutan’s financial switch with Indian’s financial switch so that both the countries will benefit from the respective efforts of promoting digital financial services.
“The GST reform in India is considered one of the most important tax reform measures adopted by India since its independence in 1947. The historic tax reform is expected to result in the significant economic transformation of the country by facilitating the make in India policy among others. Given our close trade links with India, implementation of GST will have visible impacts on us and if we are not mindful, it might lead to higher imports in the long run, widening our trade deficit and increasing pressures on our INR reserves,” said the RMA governor.
Dasho Penjore said he is hopeful the GST system in India can accommodate some relaxation and consideration for Bhutan to have minimum adverse impact and discuss the issues and address the concerns with time.