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India's Neighbourhood First policy has given new direction to India-Bhutan relations: Lok Sabha Speaker

New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said that India's Neighbourhood First policy under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a new direction to India-Bhutan relations.
The comments by Birla came after a parliamentary delegation from Bhutan led by the Speaker of the National Assembly of Bhutan, Wangchuk Namgyel on Monday met Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Lok Sabha Speaker Birla at Parliament House Complex.
Birla while addressing the meeting, said the Government of India has allocated Rs 2400 crore to Bhutan from the Union Budget this year, which reflects the close ties between the two countries, according to a release issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
According to Birla, the Government of India is determined to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation with Bhutan in line with the aspirations and priorities of the Bhutanese people.
The Lok Sabha Speaker appreciated Bhutan's goal of becoming a high-income economy by 2034 and assured that India will always be a reliable friend of Bhutan.

Birla said that the Indian Parliament is the oldest and most vibrant democracy in the world and it reflects the hopes and aspirations of 140 crore citizens.
Mentioning that India, at present, is passing through 'Amrit Kaal', Birla told the Members of the delegation that, for the next 25 years, extensive efforts will be made in the fields of agriculture, industry, infrastructure, science, digital economy, green energy, and climate change, in the direction of making India a developed nation, according to the official release.
He added that the cooperation of friendly countries will play a very important role in achieving this goal.
Last month, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra concluded his official visit to Bhutan and reaffirmed close bonds of friendship between the two countries while conveying New Delhi's firm commitment to take India-Bhutan ties into new frontiers of partnership.
The January 18-20 visit of the Foreign Secretary reinforced the long-standing tradition of regular high-level exchanges between the two countries to discuss all issues of mutual interest, the Indian Embassy in Bhutan said in a statement.
The Embassy said that the two sides held wide-ranging discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations including development partnership under Bhutan's 12th Five-Year plan, energy cooperation, technology, trade and economic ties, and people-to-people contacts. (ANI)

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