Bhutanese PM to visit India next week

Last Updated: Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 17:03

Thimphu: Bhutan`s new Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will travel to India next week on his first visit abroad, during which he will seek New Delhi`s help to boost his country`s economy and ease a liquidity crunch.

Tobgay`s visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be his first trip abroad after assuming office last month.

According to an official statement, one of the issues on Tobgay`s agenda will be seeking grants from India to inject funds into Bhutan`s economy and to ease a liquidity crunch.

Bhutan is facing an Indian rupee crunch that has hit the Himalayan country`s business community. State-run Kuensel daily reported that one of the first things the new government will have to do is mobilise funds for the 11th five-year plan.

India has assured Bhutan of its assistance and support in addressing the economic situation. The assurance was made when National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh called on 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 in a statement issued by Tobgay`s office.

Tobgay expressed his gratitude to his Indian counterpart for assuring him of New Delhi`s assistance for the 11th five-year plan.

Tobgay presented the draft of the five-year plan and said it was inadequate for addressing Bhutan`s economic situation. This is why his government has devised an Economic Stimulus Plan, he said.
Menon and Singh, who began a three-day official visit to Bhutan on August 8, also called on Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Tobgay`s People`s Democratic Party (PDP) won a landslide victory in Bhutan`s second national election on July 13. The PDP defeated Druk Phuensum Tshogpa party by winning 32 seats of the 47 in the National Assembly.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 17:03

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