Modi launches Rupay card in Bhutan, signs 9 MoUs (Lead)
Thimpu, Aug 17 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Saturday launched Rupay card in Bhutan and signed nine memorandums of understanding (MoUs), including one on the ISRO-built earth station in Thimphu and a power purchase agreement.
Modi on a two-day state visit to Bhutan was received by his counterpart Lotay Tshering. He will hold talks with Bhutanese leaders to deepen bilateral relations.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, "Bringing our economies and people together. Modi and Bhutan Prime Minister jointly launch Rupay cards in Bhutan bringing immediate tangible benefits to the people of both countries."
One power purchase agreement for the Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant was also signed between the two countries.
"A true testament to mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation. Modi and Bhutan Prime Minister jointly inaugurate the 720 MW Mangdechu Hydroelectricity Project in Bhutan. India is fortunate to be a partner in Bhutan's development," Kumar said in his tweet.
One of the MOUs include establishment of SATCOM Network in Thimphu for the utilisation of South Asia Satellite.
"Sky is the limit! Modi and Bhutan Prime Minister jointly inaugurate the Ground Earth Station & SATCOM network, developed with assistance from ISRO for utilisation of South Asia Satellite in Bhutan. This will bring immense benefit to people living in remote areas of Bhutan," MEA spokesperson said in his tweet.
Other MoUs include cooperation in aircraft accident and incident investigation, peering agreement, cooperation in judicial education and mutual exchanges, and academic and cultural interchange in the areas of legal education and research.
Kumar, in his another tweet said the both leaders also inaugurated extension of India's National Knowledge Network to Bhutan, which will foster closer collaboration between institutes of pre-eminence between two countries.
Early in the morning, Kumar tweeted: "A central pillar of our 'Neighbourhood First' policy. Continuing the high-level exchanges between the two countries. This is PM's second visit to Bhutan and the first since his re-election."
Kumar also shared on Twitter pictures of Modi's arrival in Bhutan. "Breathtaking setting for the welcome ceremony as PM Modi lands at Paro airport in Bhutan. As a gesture of extraordinary warmth and goodwill, PM Modi was welcomed by Prime Minister of Bhutan and other ministers."
Modi in a statement issued before departure on Friday said his government attaches high importance to the Himalayan nation and the visit at the beginning of his current term underpins the solid relations between India and Bhutan.
The visit would further strengthen the valued friendship with Bhutan, and help in carving out a road map for a prosperous future and development of people from the two countries.
"India-Bhutan partnership today is of a special character and substance and forms an important pillar of India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy..." Modi said in a statement.