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PM’s Statement during his visit to Bhutan

His Excellency, Prime Minister of Bhutan,
And my friend Dr. Tshering,

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Greetings,

I am very happy to be present among all of you here in Bhutan, an integral and special friend of India. Prime Minister, I sincerely thank you and the Royal Government of Bhutan for the very warm welcome accorded to me and my delegation.

Excellency,

My heartfelt gratitude also for your generous thoughts about this unique friendship of India-Bhutan. Bhutan holds a special place in the hearts of 130 crore Indians. During my last tenure, the selection of Bhutan was natural for my first visit as the Prime Minister. This time also, I am very happy to visit Bhutan at the beginning of my second term. The relations between India and Bhutan are based on the common interests of progress, prosperity and security of the people of both countries. And so they have full support of the people in both countries.

Excellency,

It is my privilege that the decisive mandate of the people of India has once again given me the opportunity to work with you, the King of Bhutan, to further strengthen these relations. Today I had the opportunity to discuss our partnership with His Majesty, the King of Bhutan. And after some time I will also meet His Majesty, The Fourth King of Bhutan. The intelligence and foresight of the Kings of Bhutan has guided our bilateral relations for a long time. Not only this, their vision has presented Bhutan, to the whole world, as a unique example where development is measured not by figures but by happiness. Where economic development moves along with tradition and environment. Who wouldn’t want such a friend and neighbor.

Friends,

It is a privilege of India that we are a major partner in the development of Bhutan. India’s cooperation in Bhutan’s five-year plans will continue even further depending on their wishes and priorities.

Friends,

Hydro-power is an important area of ​​cooperation between our two countries. The two countries have together transformed the power of the rivers of Bhutan into not only electricity but mutual prosperity also. Today we have achieved another historic milestone of this journey with the inauguration of the Mangdechhu project. With the cooperation of both countries, hydro-power generation capacity in Bhutan has crossed 2000 MW. I am confident that we will also take other projects forward very fast.

Excellency,

To meet the growing needs of the common people of Bhutan, the supply of LPG from India is being increased from 700 to 1000 MT per month. This will help in bringing clean fuel to the villages.

Friends,

In our first meeting Dr. Tshering told me that his main motivation for joining politics has been to provide good health services to the common man. I was very impressed with his vision. India will extend all possible help in realizing his dream of multi-disciplinary super-specialty hospital in Bhutan.

Excellency,

Under the SAARC Currency Swap Framework, we are positive to increase the limit of currency swaps for Bhutan. Meanwhile, an additional $ 100 million will be available to Bhutan under the standby swap arrangement to meet the foreign exchange requirement.

Friends,

India is committed to accelerate the development of Bhutan using space technology. We have inaugurated the earth station of South Asia Satellite today. This will increase coverage of communication, public broad-casting and disaster management in Bhutan. For these purposes extra bandwidth and transponders will also be made available as per Bhutan’s requirement. Both countries will also cooperate in the construction of small satellites and the use of space technology. Connection with the National Knowledge Network of India will connect Bhutan’s students and researchers to the new resources of Indian universities. This is an important step for the establishment of a Common Knowledge Society between the two countries, which will particularly benefit our youth. The collaboration and relationship between Royal Bhutan University and IITs of India and some other top educational institutions are in line with today’s requirements for education and technology. I am eagerly looking forward to meeting the talented youth of this country at the Royal Bhutan University tomorrow.

Friends,

I am very happy that today we have launched the RuPay card in Bhutan. This will further enhance our relationship in digital payments, and trade and tourism. Our shared spiritual heritage and strong people-to-people relationship is the heart of our relations. Keeping this in mind, post-graduate scholarships for Bhutan at Nalanda University are being increased from two to five. I have received the blessings of Zhabdrung here today. I am happy to announce that India has agreed to extend the presence of this unique statue in Bhutan for another five years.

Excellency,

The history of India-Bhutan relations is as glorious as its promising future. I believe that India and Bhutan will remain a unique model of relations between two countries in the world.

To give an opportunity to visit again this beautiful Druk Yul,

Once again many-many thanks for your welcome and your love.
Tashi Delak!