Mathai in Bhutan to discuss India-assisted projects

Thimpu: Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai arrived here on Wednesday to hold consultations with senior Bhutanese officials during which status of India-assisted projects and other key bilateral issues will be discussed.

Mathai is scheduled to meet the Chief Adviser of the Interim Government Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay and call on the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck apart from meeting other senior officials, during his three-day visit.

Earlier this year, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, during his visit to Bhutan, had assured top leadership that India will not let their projects slow down.

"The projects will continue on pace and whatever timeline is to be laid out, we will work on that timeline", he had said.

This year, Rs 3614 crore has been earmarked for Bhutan as compared to Rs 3409.06 crore in the revised budget for 2012-13 for various projects and other activities.

Mathai's three-day trip to Thimpu follows the understanding, reiterated during the visit of the Bhutanese King here as the Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations in January 2013, that India and Bhutan should have regular high level contacts to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Apart from other projects, India is assisting three key hydro projects in Bhutan.