23 June, 2021

'India Is Not Tilting Towards Us'

King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuk was in India last week to sign two agreements, one for a hydroelectric project and another for setting up a cement plant with ACC. The two governments also initiated discussions on working together to combat and e

'India Is Not Tilting Towards Us'
This is the first joint project between the Bhutan government and a private Indian company. Can one expect more such agreements?

The decision our government has taken is that we can have joint ventures on a selective basis. But the scope for such joint ventures is rather limited because our policy is more to develop hydropower resources. The development of industries suffers from several constraints. One is that since we are a landlocked country, the cost of transportation of products and raw materials is very high.

How are Bhutan's ties with Nepal, especially in the context of the question of Bhutanese of Nepalese origin?

Immigration into Bhutan started at the end of the last century. Those who came were basically farmers and were regularised in 1958. But the majority of the illegal immigrants entered Bhutan after we started the process of socio-economic development in 1961, when we launched our first five-year plan. As we started to develop the infrastructure of a modern state—roads, telecommunications, hospitals and so on—we...

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