India assures support for Bhutan’s 13th FYP

India assures support for Bhutan’s 13th FYP

PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Bhutan towards the end of March this year

The Government of India (GoI) has assured its assistance to Bhutan for the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP) although the exact amount India will release towards the developmental activities of Bhutan is yet to be announced. The message was conveyed by officials from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to the Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MoFAET) of Bhutan, DN Dhungyel during his recent trip to India.

The Minister was on his first official visit after the cabinet appointment to attend the 9th edition of the Raisina Dialogue held from 21-23 February, 2024 in New Delhi. On the sidelines, Lyonpo met with the Minister of MEA, Dr S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, and officials of the ministry.

The Minister said that he got the opportunity to discuss on how India can support in Bhutan’s 13th FYP and “he was happy that India committed to support towards Bhutan’s development in the 13th FYP”.  Besides, the Minister also met with delegates from Germany, Estonia, Sri Lanka, Serbia and Nepal. The minister said that the allies of Bhutan had supported the country before and will support henceforth as well.  “Bhutan has good trading opportunities with these countries,” the Minister said.

Later that day, Dr S. Jaishankar tweeted, “His (Lyonpo’s) participation in Raisina Dialogue 2024 and our productive meeting this evening (23 February) was very much in keeping with neighborhood first policy and our unique partnership.”  He added, “Look forward to working closely with him.”

During Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan (2018 – 2023), India granted Rs 4500 Crore for development projects and Rs 400 Crore for transitional Trade Support Facility. Currently, 51 large and intermediate projects as well as 359 Small Development Projects (SDPs)/High Impact Community Development Projects (HICPDs) are in progress under this plan.

Meanwhile, the Raisina Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the international community. The 9th Raisina Dialogue witnessed participation of representatives from over 100 countries including Ministers, former Heads of State and Heads of Government, Military Commanders, Captains of Industry, Technology Leaders, Academics, Journalists, Scholars on Strategic Affairs, Experts from leading Think Tanks, and Youth.

The theme of the 2024 edition is “Chaturanga: Conflict, Contest, Cooperate, and Create”. Over the course of three days, decision makers and thought leaders of the world engaged with each other across conversations in various formats, over six thematic pillars: Tech Frontiers: Regulations & Realities; Peace with the Planet: Invest & Innovate; War and Peace: Armouries and Asymmetries; Decolonizing Multilateralism: Institutions and Inclusion; the Post 2030 Agenda: People and Progress; and the Defending Democracy: Society and Sovereignty.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Bhutan towards the end of March this year.

By Sangay Rabten, Thimphu