New Delhi: Describing ties between India and Bhutan as a "model relationship", President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said mutual trust and confidence have helped build close relations between the two neighbours.
In an interview to Bhutan Broadcasting Service on the eve of his two-day visit to the Himalayan state, Mukherjee said India will continue to assist it in its economic development as Bhutan was "special to India".
He said India has given Rs 300 crore to Bhutan last year and another Rs 900 crore has already been disbursed this year for development purposes and more aid will also be disbursed in the course of time.
Asked about bureaucratic hurdles coming in the way of disbursement, he said "we have to follow certain financial rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are meant to ensure that money is being properly disbursed and disbursed money properly used so that there is no delay in implementing the projects in time."
"India-Bhutan relations is a model relationship amongst neighbours," the President said, adding "mutual trust and confidence have helped build close relations between India and Bhutan."
Mukherjee noted that democracy has taken deep roots in Bhutan and almost 3/4th of Bhutanese student population are studying in India.
Talking about joint developmental projects, the President said these projects, including those in hydroelectric power sector, "have brought us closer".
"I am fortunate to have personal relationship with the royal family of Bhutan...We have a relationship with Bhutan which cannot be compared with any other. Bhutan is special to India," Mukherjee, who leaves for Bhutan tomorrow, told the Broadcasting service.
The cooperation we have with Bhutan and the close relationship, our common security, the common approach of helping our people, the common objective to share experiences, resources and expertise with each other have placed our relations in a unique position. We are participating in the developmental projects of Bhutan without any conditionality, Mukherjee said.