Mains Paper 2: IR | India and its neighborhood- relations.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not Much
Mains level: Amid Doklam Standoff, the relations of India and Bhutan have become more important, also it is a hot topic of discussion these days.
Concerns of Bhutan on Indian projects
- In a two-day conference in Bhutan, they mention that Bhutan wants more focus of India on issues like hydropower project constructions
- According to Bhutanese experts, Hydropower projects are critical for the Bhutanese economy
- And are at the core of Bhutan’s plans for self-reliance ever since the first five-year plans in 1961
Rising Debt of Bhutan and issues related to it
- As of July 2017, Bhutan’s debt to India for the three major ongoing projects: Mangdechhu, Punatsangchhu 1 and 2
- It is approximately 12,300 crore which accounts for 77% of the country’s total debt, and is 87% of its GDP
- The cost of the 720 MW Mangdechhu project has nearly doubled in the past two years
- Both Punatsangchhu 1 and 2, each of 1200 MW capacity have trebled in cost and been delayed more than five years over the original completion schedule
Indian Government Stand on the issue
- The Indian government is looking at the proposals of the hydropower committee of Bhutan
- But accepted that it would be difficult to meet many of them, given India’s own power sector needs to compete in the same area