Sun, 22 Sep 2019

Thimphu [Bhuan], Aug 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said it is an honour for India to be part of the development process of Bhutan and expressed confidence that the two countries will continue to be "a unique model of bilateral ties" in the world.

In a joint press statement along with his Bhutanese counterpart Dr Lotay Tshering, Modi announced a slew of measures to boost ties between the two countries including an increase in the supply of LPG to the Himalayan nation.

He said India will continue to extend cooperation to Bhutan in its five-year plans according to the needs of the Himalayan nation.

"Who will not want a friend and a neighbour like Bhutan? It is an honour for us that India is a part of the development of Bhutan," he said.

Modi said that the joint spiritual legacy and strong people-to-people ties were the key strength of mutual ties.

"The way our relationship has a proud history, the future is equally bright. I have full faith that the relationship between the two countries will continue to be a unique model in the world," he said.

Referring to the launch of RuPay card in Bhutan, he said it will help boost digital payment and boost ties in trade and tourism.

"Under the SAARC currency swap framework, our attitude is positive to increase Bhutan's share. To fulfill the need of foreign exchange, an additional US dollar 100 million will be available to Bhutan under stand-by swap arrangement," he said.

Modi had also visited Bhutan at the beginning of his new term reflecting the high importance that India attaches to its relations with the Himalayan nation who has been a "trusted friend".

"Bhutan has a special place in the hearts of 130 crore Indians. I am very happy that I have come to Bhutan soon after the beginning of my second term," he said.

He said that the cooperation between Royal Bhutan University and IITs and some other educational institutions was in tune with the demands in the field of education and technology.

"I am looking forward to meeting bright students of Royal Bhutan University tomorrow," he said.

He said India has decided to increase the supply of LPG from 700 to 1000 metric tonne per month to fulfill the growing need of common people of Bhutan. "It will help clean fuel reach villages," he said.

The Prime Minister said India is committed to accelerating development in Bhutan using space technology.

"We inaugurated the earth station of South Asia Satellite. This will increase coverage of communication, public broadcasting and disaster management in Bhutan," he said. (ANI)

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