A Review of projects progress and issues pertaining to the Government of India (GoI) Project-tied Assistance (PTA) in Bhutan’s 10th Five year plan was discussed between the various concerned ministries and agencies of Bhutan and delegation from Ministry of External Affairs, India during the fourth project monitoring committee (PMC) meeting, earlier this week, here in Thimphu.
“With their overall commitment of Nu 34bn to the 10th FYP, the GoI continues to be Bhutan’s largest development partner to date,” a press release from the GNH commission stated
The discussions were focused on progress of the released amount of Nu 15,536.508mn by GoI till date which is 78 percent of the total committed allocation of Nu 20bn.
The meeting was led by Secretary, Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) Karma Tshiteem and Director (north), ministry of external affairs, GoI Puneet R. Kundal.
The meeting entailed series of power point presentations by different sector representatives like the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources, Royal Institute of Management, RCSC, Roads, Hydropower and Energy, IT, Civil Aviation, Judiciary, Dratshang Lhentshog and Department of Culture.
Other agencies were Livestock, Agriculture Marketing Programme, Health Infrastructure, Royal University of Bhutan and Educational Infrastructure and Undergraduate scholarship. The discussions also included representatives from four constitutional offices- the royal audit authority (RAA), anti-corruption commission (ACC), office of the attorney general (OAG) and election commission of Bhutan (ECB).
The GoI is funding key projects in all these above sectors from huge mega projects to other developmental projects.
The head of the GoI delegation, Puneet R. Kundal said, “Whatever funds GoI has committed to the RGoB shall be delivered as assured.”
The GoI delegation apart from Director (north) Ministry of External Affairs Puneet R. Kundal included other GoI officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, as well as senior officials from the Embassy of India, Thimphu.
The GoI delegation is expected to visit several projects including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Royal Institute of Management, Royal Institute of Health Sciences and Tango Buddhist College.
The total fund of Nu 34bn is released in three categories of Rs 7B for small development projects, Rs 7B for programme assistance and Rs 20B for project-tied assistance.
The last disbursement of Nu 820 mn for project-tied assistance was made on June 6, this year.
GoI has earmarked over Nu 26bn for projects in Bhutan in its 2012-13 budget. Ever since the start of planned development in Bhutan the GoI has been Bhutan’s main developmental partner and donor. The first two five year plans from 1961 to 1971 were funded entirely by GoI and subsequently GoI has been the biggest contributor to Bhutan’s planned development.
This does not include other projects like hydropower, economic projects and other infrastructure projects.