Sixth Annual Consultation 5 September, 2011 – Bhutan proposed eight projects for grant assistance in survey and technical cooperation from Japan for 2011 during the sixth annual consultation between Bhutan and Japan on September 3 in Thimphu.
One of the proposed projects is the Taklai irrigation scheme that has been damaged from consecutive floods.
Under the KR II 2012 project, Bhutan proposed assistance of 350 two-wheeler tractors with rotary tiller, 350 single reversible ploughs, 10 combined harvesters and 50 power threshers.
The third proposal is assistance from Japan for the construction of an 800m long motorable bridge over the MaoKhola in Gelephu that cost around Nu 327M.
Reconstruction of the 325m long Diana Kuenphen bridge in Samtse, that’s estimated to cost about USD 18.20M is the fourth proposal.
One of the four proposed projects for technical cooperation includes the development of an integrated GLOF early warning system, with operational capacity enhancement for climate change adaption in Mangdechu and Chamkharchu river basins.
Bhutan also proposed technical assistance from Japan to strengthen farm mechanism phase II; to strengthen the community policing system; in the development of national procedure for technical assessment of manufacturing pharmaceutical firms and establishing inspection.
Commenting on the proposals, director of country assistance planning division of Japan, Shuichi Tokuda, said the proposals were taken note of and would be looked at in the order of importance.
“The MaoKhola bridge being the first proposal of the year and, if it’s very important, then we need to take a closer look at it,” Shuichi Tokuda said.
Director of the department of bilateral affairs with the foreign ministry Thinley Penjor expressed Bhutan’s appreciation and satisfaction for the country’s progress from Japan’s assistance.
“Today, the quantum of assistance have increased and diversified into many vital sectors, such as agriculture, energy, roads, telecommunication, health and education.” he said.
In terms of sharing best practices, Bhutan, he said, is appreciative of how many experts and volunteers from Japan continued to inspire the communities by working closely and sharing their expertise in remote Bhutan.
In the first four years of the 10th five year plan, Bhutan received a grant of USD 166.81M from Japan.
Today, there are four grant aid projects, seven technical cooperation projects and two rural electrification projects under implementation in Bhutan.
The rural electrification projects is expected to benefit 19,050 households across the country.
Two grant projects of KR II 2008 and improvement of machinery and equipment for the construction of rural agriculture road phase II are complete.
A technical cooperation project on the construction of education facilities is also completed.
Shuichi Tokuda also said the Japanese foreign ministry last year suggested the need for a policy to give its ODA assistance.
“Japanese assistance policy for Bhutan would be made by next September,” he said. “Discussions for the policy have just started.”
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