India Holding G20 Presidency Matter of Pride for South Asia, including Bhutan: Bhutanese Minister
Bhutan's Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs, H.E. Ugyen Dorji said that India holding the G20 presidency is a matter of pride for the whole of South Asia, including Bhutan, The Bhutan Live reported on Sunday. The minister made the remarks while inaugurating the cultural evening on the eve of the fourth Y-20 consultation meeting in Pune. Y20 is a forum for youth from all G20 member countries to hold dialogue over various issues.
According to The Bhutan Live, India and Bhutan share a special bilateral relationship. Bhutan has the most significant share of the allocated budget for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) under Grants and Loans to Foreign Governments. Bhutan under the budgetary plans will receive 2,400.58 crores out of which 1,632.24 crores will be a "grant" and 768.34 crores will be a part of a "loan". Bhutan will receive financial assistance from India for a number of development projects in the fields of health, digitisation and other sectors.
The 5th Bhutan-India Small Development Project (SDP)/High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP) Committee meeting between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of India for the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP) was held in Thimphu on February 28. The Committee reviewed the progress of 524 Projects being implemented across 20 Dzongkhags and 4 Thromdes in Bhutan and approved Rs 850 Crore for local governments in areas such as water supply, urban infrastructure, agricultural roads, irrigation channels, bridges, health and education infrastructure. India also extended initial grant assistance of 100 Crore towards the Gyalsung Project to help Bhutan's youth participate in nation-building.
The grant was handed over by the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan Sudhakar Dalela in a special ceremony. India under its 'Neighbourhood First Policy', is expected to continue its development assistance partnership with Bhutan as Thimpu shall keep growing its development agenda. According to The Bhutan Live, India while holding the G20 presidency will keep pushing the agendas that matter to the developing countries. Reforming international institutions, health, education, gender, climate and environment are issues that need attention. Since India's foreign policy has always highlighted its 'neighborhood first' policy, it will make the most of the G20 presidency to push forward agendas while keeping the larger interest of the region in mind.
India's growing startup ecosystem benefits Bhutan as it will provide more opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to learn from experienced business people through the Bhutan-India Startup Summit, The Bhutan Live reported. In recent years, the Indian government has been actively engaging with Bhutan to connect the startup ecosystems of the two countries. In the last week of February 2020, the Indian Embassy organized the first-ever Bhutan-India Startup Summit in Thimphu.