Joint Vision Statement on India - Bhutan Energy Partnership

Published By : Admin | March 22, 2024 | 17:20 IST

India and Bhutan share an exemplary bilateral relationship characterized by trust, goodwill and mutual understanding at all levels, strong bonds of friendship and close people-to-people contacts. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay had fruitful and wide ranging discussions in Thimphu wherein the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to taking this extraordinary bilateral partnership to new heights, looking into the future.

The two leaders noted the stellar contribution of clean energy partnership in the development of hydro-power sector of Bhutan, and in providing energy security to the region. Prime Minister Modi appreciated growing domestic capacity of Bhutanese firms and technical agencies in implementation of energy projects. Prime Minister Tobgay congratulated Prime Minister Modi for the remarkable growth of India’s renewable energy sector in recent years, and for his leadership in fostering initiatives such as International Solar Alliance and National Green Hydrogen Mission of India.

Both the Prime Ministers reviewed all aspects of bilateral energy cooperation and expressed satisfaction that projects, which have been jointly implemented, are functioning well and contributing to economic development in Bhutan. Building on the success of the 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydro-electric Project, the two leaders look forward to commissioning the 1020 MW Punatsangchhu-II Hydro-electric Project this year. Both sides welcomed the positive expert-level discussions on a technically sound and cost – effective way forward for 1200 MW Punatsangchhu – I HEP.

4. Both the Prime Ministers agreed

(i) That the India-Bhutan energy partnership has the potential to benefit both the countries by enhancing energy security, strengthening their economies, generating employment, enhancing export earnings, and contributing to further development of industrial and financial capacities.

(ii) That there are unprecedented opportunities to further strengthening this mutually beneficial bilateral clean energy partnership, including through development of new energy projects and trade in electricity.

(iii) To engage in the development of new energy projects in the fields of hydro-power, solar and green hydrogen, including through the participation of Indian entities as strategic partners.

(iv) That both Governments will review and finalize project - specific implementation modalities for new projects, including reservoir hydro projects.

(v) That the Government of India will facilitate necessary access to financing from financial institutions in India as well as market for power sale for new and upcoming hydro-power projects in Bhutan.

(vi) Power exchange between the two countries shall continue to play an important role in ensuring energy security in the region. In this regard, market access to Bhutanese power producers will be facilitated in accordance with applicable domestic regulations and procedures, through mutually agreed arrangements and delivery points.

(vii) In view of the evolving energy markets, to hold regular consultations for enabling investments in energy projects of Bhutan, and for ensuring seamless cross-border trade in electricity.

(viii) To work towards greater sub-regional energy cooperation, which would lead to increased inter-linkages between the economies for mutual benefit of all stakeholders.

(ix) To strengthen energy cooperation in the field of energy efficiency and energy conservation through capacity development, information exchange on policies and technologies, and research and development on energy efficient technologies.

Both the Prime Ministers agreed to expedite movement on projects and initiatives on the basis of the Joint Vision Statement for mutual benefit.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed spirited public gatherings in Gurdaspur and Jalandhar, Punjab, where he paid his respects to the sacred land and reflected upon the special bond between Punjab and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Addressing the gathering PM Modi highlighted, the INDI alliance’s misgovernance in the state and said, “Who knows the real face of the INDI alliance better than Punjab? They've inflicted the most wounds on our Punjab. The wound of division after independence, the long period of instability due to selfishness, a long period of unrest in Punjab, an attack on the brotherhood of Punjab, and an insult to our faith, what hasn't Congress done in Punjab? Here, they fueled separatism. Then they orchestrated a massacre of Sikhs in Delhi. As long as Congress was in the Central government, they saved the rioters. It's Modi who opened the files of the Sikh riots. It's Modi who got the culprits punished. Even today, Congress and its ally party are troubled by this. That's why these people keep abusing Modi day and night."

Speaking about the INDI alliance governance and its strategy concerning National Security, PM Modi said, “These INDI alliance people are a great danger to the security of the country. They are talking about reintroducing Article 370 in Kashmir. They want terrorism back in Kashmir. They want to hand over Kashmir to separatists again. They will send messages of friendship to Pakistan again. They will send roses to Pakistan. Pakistan will carry out bomb blasts.”

“There will be terrorist attacks on the country. Congress will say, we have to talk no matter what. For this, Congress has already started creating an atmosphere. Their leaders are saying, Pakistan has an atomic bomb. Their people are saying, we'll have to live in fear of Pakistan. These INDI alliance people are speaking Pakistan's language,” he added.

Discarding the anti-national thought process of the Congress and INDI alliance, PM Modi said, “The problem with Congress is that it has no faith in India. The scions of Congress tarnish the country's image when they go abroad. They say that India is not a nation. Therefore, they want to change the nation's identity. The mentor of the scions has said that the construction of the Ram temple and celebrating Ram Navami in the country threatens the identity of India.”

Emphasizing the need for rapid development, PM Modi assured the people of Gurdaspur, Punjab, and the entire country of his unwavering commitment to their progress and prosperity. He said, “Punjab's development is Modi's priority. The BJP government is building highways like the Delhi-Katra highway and the Amritsar-Pathankot highway here. BJP is developing railway facilities here.”

“Our effort is to create new opportunities in Punjab, to benefit the farmers. In the last 10 years, we have procured record amounts of rice and wheat across Punjab. The MSP, which was fixed during the Congress government, has been increased by two and a half times. Farmers are receiving PM Kisan Samman Nidhi for seeds, fertilizers, and other necessities,” PM Modi added.

Regarding the ongoing elections, PM Modi urged the citizens to choose leadership that prioritizes the nation's interests. Contrasting the BJP-led NDA’s clear vision for a developed India with the divisive and dynastic politics of the INDI alliance, PM Modi called for support for the BJP to ensure continued progress and stability.

In his second mega rally of the day in Jalandhar, Punjab, PM Modi highlighted the shifting political sentiments. He noted that people no longer want to vote for Congress and the INDI Alliance, as it would mean wasting their votes. Emphasizing the strong support in Punjab, he concluded with a resonant call, ‘Phir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkar’!

PM Modi criticized the Congress for its appeasement politics, claiming that the party favored its vote bank at the expense of accurate historical narratives. He noted that Congress had favoured its own family and Mughal families in history books, neglecting the sacrifices of our Sahibzadas. The PM also asserted that this skewed version of history left generations unaware of the true events, such as the tragedy of partition in Punjab. ‘Congress’, he said, “hid these truths to protect its vote bank and avoid exposing its misdeeds”.

PM Modi underscored the BJP-NDA government's commitment to Hindu and Sikh families left behind during the partition, citing the CAA law as a significant step towards granting them Indian citizenship. He heavily disregarded Congress for opposing the CAA and stated that Congress intends to repeal the law if they come to power, denying these communities their rightful citizenship.

The PM explicitly compared the Jhadu Party (AAP) to Congress, calling it a "photocopy party" that has adopted Congress's oppressive tactics. He strongly condemned their actions against media houses that resist their threats, exposing their true nature. He also made the audience aware of the destructive alliance between Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, stressing that voting for either party is voting against Punjab's interests.

Highlighting the Congress party's lack of faith in India and its attempts to undermine the nation's identity, PM Modi urged voters to reject such divisive politics. He underscored the BJP's commitment to Punjab's development, citing initiatives to improve infrastructure, support farmers, and promote food processing industries. PM Modi sought the blessings of the people of Gurdaspur and Jalandhar, and urged them to vote for BJP candidates in the upcoming elections to secure a brighter future for Punjab and the nation.