Sun, 02 Apr 2023

Thimpu [Bhutan], February 8 (ANI): India and Bhutan share unique and exemplary bilateral relations, which are based on mutual trust, goodwill and understanding. The increased monetary support for Bhutan by India in its Budget 2023 is a case in point, reported The Bhutan LiveThe Government of India has allocated Rs 2,400 crore for Bhutan, a slight increase compared to last year of Rs 2,266 crore. It received the largest share of the amount that the Budget allocated for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) under "Grants and Loans to Foreign Governments".

Under the budgetary plans, the country will receive Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) 2,400.58 crore out of which BTN 1,632.24 crore will be a "grant" and BTN 768.34 crore will be a part of a "loan".

It has been the top recipient of Budget allocation from India as a number of development projects in the fields of health, digitization and other sectors in the Himalayan country, receive India's financial assistance, reported The Bhutan Live.

Notably, Budget 2023 allocated BTN 200 crore for Afghanistan. It also made an allocation of funds for Mauritius (BTN 460 crore), and the port of Chabahar in Iran (BTN 100 crore).

Meanwhile, Seychelles will receive BTN 10 crore as assistance during the coming financial year. Myanmar which is facing a civil disorder since February 1, 2021 coup, received a grant of BTN 400 crore and the same amount has also been granted to the Maldives, which has several India-funded development projects currently underway. An amount of BTN 550 crore has been allocated for Nepal under a "grant," reported The Bhutan Live.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with a parliamentary delegation from Bhutan led by the speaker of the national assembly of Bhutan, Wangchuk Namgyel, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said that India's Neighborhood First Policy under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a new direction to India-Bhutan relations.

He further stated that the Government of India is determined to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation with Bhutan keeping in mind the aspirations and priorities of the people of Bhutan, reported The Bhutan Live.

He also told the Members of the delegation that, for the next 25 years, serious and extensive efforts will be made in the fields of agriculture, industry, infrastructure, science, digital economy, green energy, and climate change, in order to make India a developed nation. Adding further he said cooperation from friendly countries will be required to achieve this goal.

Appreciating Bhutan's goal of becoming a high-income economy by 2034, he assured that India will always be a reliable friend of Bhutan. (ANI)

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