India has announced it will contribute Rs 4,500 crore (USD643.5million) to Bhutan's 12th Five-Year Plan, following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering in New Delhi. The two sides also reviewed the progress of various hydro-power projects in the Himalayan kingdom.
"I have assured the Prime Minister that India will continue to play the role of a trusted friend and partner in Bhutan's development," Modi said in a joint address to the media with Tshering following the meeting.
"India will make a contribution of Rs 4,500 crore for Bhutan's 12th Five-Year Plan," he said.
"This contribution will be made according to Bhutan's needs and priorities."
Bhutan's 12th Five-Year Plan runs from 2018 to 2023.
According to a joint statement statement issued following the meeting, Modi also said that India will provide a transitional trade support facility of Rs 400 crore over a period of five years to strengthen bilateral trade and economic linkages.
Stating that Tshering described his "Narrowing the Gap" vision in detail during their meeting, Modi said that this matched his "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas" (Collective Efforts, Inclusive Growth) vision.
He said that development of hydro-power projects is an important part of the long history of India's aid to Bhutan.
"Today we reviewed our aid for all related projects in this important sector," Modi said.
Stating that that work on the 720MW Mangdechhu hydro-power project in Bhutan will be completed soon, he said that both sides have also agreed on tariff rates for the electricity from this project.
According to the joint statement, both leaders reiterated their commitment to jointly develop 10,000MW of hydro-power generating capacity in Bhutan and in this regard discussed the 2,560 Sunkosh hydro-power project.