A joint release issued by both the Bhutanese and Indian government highlighted the outcomes of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bhutan and his meetings with Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.
The release says that His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan and His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo separately granted audiences to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held official talks with Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay and discussed issues of mutual interests.
The main outcomes of the discussions were also shared in the release.
The two sides exchanged views and held discussions on bilateral relations and economic cooperation as well as cooperation in regional and multilateral forums. They recalled the strong historical ties of friend-ship and understanding that exist between the governments and peoples of the two countries. They expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations and reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the special friendship between the two countries.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Bhutan conveyed his appreciation to the Government and people of India for the generous development assistance since the 1st Five Year Plan in 1961. The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the all round socio-economic development achieved by Bhutan with the assistance and support of India. Lyonchhen thanked the Government of India for the allocation of Nu. 45 billion for the 11th Five Year Plan and Nu. 5 billion for the economic stimulus plan of the Royal Government of Bhutan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated the commitment of the Government of India to support Bhutan for the successful implementation of the 11th Five Year Plan of the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on be-half of the Government of India, expressed satisfaction at being a privileged partner of Bhutan in its socio-economic development, and reassured Lyonchhen of India’s continued commitment to capacity building especially in the education and IT sectors in Bhutan.
The two sides acknowledged the impor¬tance of cooperation and mutual benefit arising from the hydropower sector between the two countries and expressed satisfaction on the progress being made. They reiterated their commitment to achieving the 10000 MW target.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the completion of the Supreme Court building and the imminent commencement of the construction of the Kholongchhu Hydroelectric Project. They noted the tremendous benefits the Kholongchhu Project would bring to the people of Eastern Bhutan.
The two sides recalled the free trade ar-rangement between the two countries and the expanding bilateral trade between the two countries and its importance in further cementing the friendship between the two countries. Government of India conveyed its decision to exempt Bhutan from any ban or quantitative restrictions on exports of fol-lowing items:- Milk powder, Wheat, Edible oil, Pulses and Non-basmati rice. The two sides also agreed to further promote trade and investments between the two countries. In keeping with the emphasis on capac¬ity building and education, Prime Minister Modi announced the doubling of the Nehru-Wangchuck scholarship to Nu. 20 million per year. Government of India would also provide grant assistance for the establishment of the digital section or E-library in the National Library of Bhutan and in all 20 districts of Bhutan.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between the two countries related to their mutual security. They agreed to continue with their close coordination and cooperation with each other on issues relating to their national interests, and not allow each other’s territory to be used for interests inimical to the other.
The visit of Prime Minister Modi to Bhutan further strengthened the close bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.