PM Narendra Modi with his Bhutan counterpart Lotay Tshering. (File image)

India and Bhutan have agreed to maintain close coordination on matters linked to each other’s security and national interests.

Both the countries have laid stress on the hydro-power development as one of the important areas of mutually beneficial cooperation.

They “reiterated” their commitment during Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s two-day visit to Bhutan that ended on Sunday.

Modi and Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering reviewed all aspects of the bilateral ties as well as other regional and international developments, said an external affairs ministry statement on Sunday.

Modi reiterated India’s commitment to advancing the economic and infrastructural development of Bhutan.

Bhutan PM Tshering appreciated India’s contribution to Bhutan’s development.

The two Prime Ministers jointly released Bhutanese stamps, commemorating five decades of mutually beneficial Indo-Bhutan cooperation in hydro-power sector.

They also launched the facility for use of Indian RuPay cards in Bhutan.

The RuPay cards would facilitate Indians’ travel to Bhutan by reducing the need to carry cash, boost the Bhutanese economy and further integrate the two economies.

“Both sides resolved to expeditiously work on the next phase of the project, like issuance of RuPay cards by Bhutanese banks, which would benefit Bhutanese travellers to India and allow full inter-operability of RuPay cards in both the countries,” it said.

They also agreed for a feasibility study on use of India’s Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app in Bhutan to promote cashless payments between the two countries.

The two Prime Ministers inaugurated in Thimpu the Ground Earth Station of the South Asian Satellite, constructed with the support of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Tshering appreciated Modi’s vision of launching the South Asia Satellite (SAS) in 2017.

The SAS has enabled Thimpu to improve the reach and cost-effectiveness of Bhutan Broadcasting Service and also enhanced its disaster management capacities.

They also inaugurated the inter-connection between India’s National Knowledge Network and Bhutan’s Research and Education Network.

This link-up will create an information highway, encouraging greater interaction among universities and students of both sides.

At the request of Bhutan, Modi announced enhancement of quantum of subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from 700 million tonnes to 1,000 million tonnes per month, to enable Bhutan meet the increasing demand.

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