The Indian Ambassador Pavan K Varma, on behalf of the Government of India (GoI) handed over to Finance Minister Wangdi Norbu INR 2.5bn meant for the ongoing 10th plan on June 6 along with INR 1.11bn as excise duty refund for goods imported during the year 2009.
Earlier this week, the Indian government released INR 1.9bn for Punatsangchhu and Mangdechhu hydroelectric projects which takes the total amount released by GoI for Bhutan to INR 5.51bn within the first week of this month
Bhutan has now received 75% or INR 25.4bn of the committed INR 34bn from GoI for the 10th plan which includes small development projects, program assistance and project- tied assistance.
The Gross National Happiness Commission’s (GNHC) chief program coordinator Rinchen Wangdi said, the remaining INR 8.6bn is expected to be received by October or November this year.
The Indian ambassador said, despite current financial difficulties in India, the fund was in line with GoI’s commitment for expeditious release of funds for various schemes and projects of Indo- Bhutan bilateral cooperation.
The finance minister said, GoI’s assistance comes at a time when Bhutan is faced with an INR shortfall which once deposited in the system will definitely ease the situation.
Recently, customs director Choyzang Tashi and Indian director general of inspection, customs and central excise Sandhya Baliga finalized that Bhutan will receive Nu 1.3bn and Nu 1.7bn as excise duty refund from India for the year 2010 and 2011.
GoI has also earmarked more than INR 26bn for projects in Bhutan in its 2012-13 budget.