India assures Bhutan assistance to address economic crisis

Aug 10 2013, 13:53 IST
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SummaryMenon and Singh are on a three-day official visit to Bhutan from August 8.

India has assured Bhutan's new government of its assistance and support in addressing the country's current economic situation.

The assurance was made when National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and newly-appointed Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh called on Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay here yesterday.

"We'll do everything we can to support and provide assistance to Bhutan. We really look forward to working together and achieving positive outcomes," Menon was quoted as saying by a statement issued by Tobgay's office.

Menon and Singh are on a three-day official visit to Bhutan from August 8.

During the meeting, Menon congratulated Prime Minister Tobgay on assuming office and commended on a successful democratic transition of the nation. Tobgay in turn thanked and welcomed the Indian delegation for visiting Bhutan at this critical time.

The Prime Minister also expressed his gratitude towards his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh for sending him a letter of felicitation and assuring New Delhi's assistance in the 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP).

They also discussed India's commitment in rendering assistance for the 11th FYP and the Economic Stimulus Plan (ESP).

The draft of the plans were presented by Tobgay who said that the 11th FYP was not adequate enough to address the current economic situation of the nation, which is why the present government devised the ESP.

The ESP directive is to increase liquidity schemes in banks which would allow loan provisions for private sectors and enhance youth employment.

Prime Minister Tobgay said these issues required immediate attention and the present government calls for India's assistance and support to ensure that these issues are carefully and productively addressed.

Menon and Singh also called on Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

Their tour is part of the traditional exchange of high-level visits between the two neighbouring countries.

Tobgay's People's Democratic Party won a landslide victory in Bhutan's second national elections held on July 13. The PDP defeated Druk Phuensum Tshogpa party by winning 32 seats out of the 47 in the National Assembly.

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