February 4, 2010 · Filed Under Top Articals, Topstories, archive · Comment
Of the Nu 34 billion support committed by the government of India (GOI) for the 10th plan, Nu seven billion has been earmarked for sustainable development projects
The ambassador of India to Bhutan, Pavan K Varma, handed over a cheque for Nu 393.9 million to Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley yesterday.
The amount comprises 30 per cent mobilization advance for the implementation of the first lot of 441 small development projects (SDPs).
The Prime Minister said that this was a reflection of India’s special sensitivity and concern for the problem of poverty in Bhutan.
“It is very important form of support and the money will directly go for improving the living standards at 205 geogs in the country,” Lyonchhen said.
Lyonchhen added that Bhutanese people particularly in rural are eagerly waiting for the money and they will be happy to know that the money has been released.
The Ambassador Pavan K Varma said that this 30 per cent of money is very important and pivotal as it is structured to prevent any delay in the implementation of projects as all projects are identified in a credible manner.
The Ambassador said: “I hardly have to say that the well being of the people of Bhutan is also the well being of India.”
He said: “The projects, jointly cleared and approved by the two governments, were structured to prevent any delay and reflected the “nature and content of our collaboration.”
The ambassador also ensured that India will try to expedite the clearance of further projects as the working modality is already in place and it is going on vigilantly to complete them in a time bound manner.
The ambassador also said that all these projects are close to our hearts in terms of contains and the nature of collaboration and SDP is a fruition of the common interest of Bhutan and India.
According to the Secretary of Gross National Happiness Commission (GNH), Karma Tshiteem, the SDP is a new financing window introduced between Bhutan and India in the 10th plan and all these 441 projects are included in this plan.
“Out of Nu 34 billion support committed by India in the 10th plan, Nu 20 billion is provided as project-tied assistance, Nu 7.00 billion as programmme grant and Nu 7.0 billion as SDP for the key socio-economic areas, which are short gestation, community-oriented and impact lives of a wider cross section of the society,” said GNHC Secretary.
Karma Tshiteem said that all these 441 projects are community oriented and all projects are originated from local government from geogs and dzongkhags, and reflect local priorities.
The GNH Secretary said: “Money released is significant for the implementation of local government projects and all 441 projects will get 30 percent of money for the project.”
The 441 projects of SDP will cover in the areas of drinking water supply, health, education, construction of administrative offices and community hall, roads, bridges, culture, irrigation channels and Renewable Natural Resource (RNR) centres.
The 441 projects covering all the 205 geogs of Bhutan were identified in the first meeting of the Small Project Development Committee in Thimphu in November last year.
The committee comprises members from the royal government and the Embassy of India.
By Kezang Dorji in THIMPHU