India a steadfast partner and friend: Bhutan King

December 24th, 2009 - 12:50 pm ICT by ANI  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Dec 24 (ANI): Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck has said that India has always been their steadfast partner and friend.

Delivering the Madhavrao Scindia memorial lecture here, he said: “Some say Bhutan was wise to seek strong bilateral relations with India. This is true. After all whether we speak about our socio-economic progress or our successful transition towards democracy, India has been a steadfast partner and friend.”

Wangchuck, who is on a weeklong visit to India, also met Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram

He also held talks with President Pratibha Patil, Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi and opposition leader Sushma Swaraj.

India and Bhutan have signed a dozen pacts, which also include bilateral cooperation in defence and power.

India also agreed to set up a super-specialty hospital on the lines of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and to help Bhutan attain computer literacy.

India also inked four agreements on hydroelectric projects.

India and Bhutan share a historic friendship and India has been the forerunner in providing assistance towards Bhutan’s development.

India will help Bhutan in setting up ten projects by 2020 to generate 11,000 MW of hydroelectric power.

Bhutan, with a population under 700,000 people, is becoming an important source of hydroelectric power for India.

It sells power to India at a subsidised rate in return for financial help in building hydroelectric plants. The new Bhutanese government is aiming for annual economic growth of around nine percent over the next decade, and much of this will come from Indian investment. (ANI)

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