Nu 100 bn commitment includes 13th plan support and ESP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announce a total grant package of Nu 100 bn for the next five years for Bhutan. 

This includes Nu 85 bn as support for the Nu 512 bn 13th Plan and Nu 15 bn for the Economic Stimulus Plan (ESP) requested by the current government. 

When Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay visited India a request for Nu 100 bn had been made for the 13th plan and a separate Nu 15 bn for the ESP. 

A senior government official said, “It’s the largest ever GOI support for our development in Bhutan.” 

12 plan development support was 45 bn with 5 bn additional support coming to 50 bn and the 11th plan support including the 5 bn ESP was 50 bn. 

India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said the Nu 100 bn commitment is double of what was given in the 12th plan. 

He said the support is an important component of the bilateral ties. 

The announcement by PM Modi will come as welcome news for Bhutan as India is Bhutan’s largest developmental partner. 

It is significant that India agreed to double the grant. 

However, at the same time Bhutanese plan officials will have to factor in 15 bn less grant for the 13th plan and adjust accordingly. 

The draft plan so far was drawn up with the assumption India would give Nu 100 bn for the 13th plan and a separate Nu 15 bn ESP. 

The Nu 512 bn 13th plan has the largest ever capital works component of Nu 250 bn. This is where the grant will be used. Capital works are construction of new structures like roads, bridges etc. 

The government will have three options. It can resize the plan and reduce it by 15 bn, secondly it can seek the 15 bn from other donors or sources or the government can give up its ESP plans and put it into the plan budget. 

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