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India asserts fuel subsidy cut to Bhutan ‘apolitical’

India today asserted that fuel subsidy cut to Bhutan related to delivery mechanism and it had no “political or other intention” to do so while assuring that it will soon hold “intensive” discussion with the new government on the issue.

“We need to understand that the issue of subsidy relates to delivery mechanisms in India’s development partnership with Bhutan and it has no political or other implications or intentions. We will certainly engage with Bhutan on this and we have previously mentioned that the intention of India was not to adversely impact on the poor in Bhutan…..

“We look forward to engaging on this matter as soon as possible,” spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

The remarks come a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his congratulatory message, assured Bhutan’s People’s Democratic Party leader Tshering Tobgay, who is set to be the country’s next PM, of India’s “unflinching” support and noted that he has already instructed officials to prepare for the discussions on Plan assistance. Fuel subsidy is part of this Plan.

“We look forward to working with you and your colleagues to further enhance our cooperation for the benefit of the people of both our countries. I have, therefore, already instructed officials of my government to prepare for the discussions on our Plan assistance to Bhutan,” Manmohan Singh had said.

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