ANI Photo | India, Bhutan ink several MoUs, including for establishment of rail links between nations

As a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the nation, both India and Bhutan have signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), including the establishment of rail links between the two nations.
The MoU provides for the establishment of two proposed rail links between India and Bhutan, including the Kokrajhar-Gelephu rail link and Banarhat-Samtse rail link and their implementation modalities, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Earlier today, PM Modi met his Bhutanese counterpart, Tshering Tobgay in Thimphu over a working lunch hosted in his honour. He thanked PM Tobgay for the exceptional public welcome accorded to him, with people greeting him all along the journey from Paro to Thimphu.
Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister of Bhutan witnessed exchange of several MoUs/Agreements on energy, trade, digital connectivity, space, agriculture, youth connect among others, the MEA said in an official release.
Meanwhile, among several ones signed, an MoU on general supply of Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants (POL) and related products from India to Bhutan was also inked.
“This MoU provides for a list of Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants related items. GoI would facilitate its supply to Bhutan through agreed entry/exit points,” according to MEA.
An Agreement for recognition of official control exercised by the Bhutan Food And Drug Authority (BFDA) by the Food Safety and Standards Authority Of India (FSSAI) was also agreed upon.
The agreement will facilitate the trade between India and Bhutan by promoting ease of doing business and reducing compliance cost on both sides. The MoU will make the export inspection certificate issued by BFDA acceptable by FSSAI for compliance with requirements prescribed by FSSAI, while exporting the products to India.
The MoU on cooperation in the field of Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation measures, aims to assist Bhutan to enhance energy efficiency in the household sector by promoting star labeling programme developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The MoU covers facilitating the formulation of building codes based on India’s experience, creation of a pool of energy professionals at Bhutan by institutionalizing training of energy auditors etc.
Whereas, the MoU on cooperation in Sports and Youth, would help further people to people linkages between India and Bhutan by advancing linkages between sports agencies of both sides and conduct sports activities/programmes, the MEA said in a release.
The MoU on cooperation concerning sharing reference standard, pharmacopoeia, vigilance and testing of medicinal products, was also inked between New Delhi and Thimphu. It would help further developing our close cooperation and exchanging information in the field of the regulation of medicines in accordance with the respective laws and regulations of each side. The MoU would allow for acceptance of Indian Pharmacopoeia by Bhutan as a book of standards for medicines and supply of generic medicines at affordable price.
Further, Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) on Space Cooperation provides a concrete roadmap for further developing our space cooperation through exchange programmes, training etc, and the Renewal of MoU on Peering Arrangement between National Knowledge Network of India (NKN) and Druk Research And Education Network of Bhutan, is between the National Knowledge Network (NKN) of India and Druk Research and Education Network (DrukREN) of Bhutan to renew the peering agreement between NKN and DrukREN.
The MoU will enhance digital connectivity between India and Bhutan and will benefit the scholars and research institutions of Bhutan.

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