RuPay Card Phase II jointly launched by India and Bhutan

On November 20, 2020, PM Narendra Modi and Bhutanese PM Lotay Tshering jointly launched RuPay card Phase II that will allow Bhutan citizens to access RuPay network in India. The phase I was launched in August 2019.

Highlights

The implementation of Phase I of Rupay cards enabled visitors from India to access Point of Sale terminals and ATM terminals across Bhutan. Now, the phase II that is being launched will allow Bhutanese card holders to access RuPay network in India.

India-Bhutan

The base of strong relations between India and Bhutan was formed by the Indo-Bhutan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1949.

Geographical Significance

The Indian states that share common border with Bhutan are Assam, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Bhutan serves as a buffer between India and China.

India and Bhutan trade

The trade between India and Bhutan was renewed in 2016. The trade between the countries stood at Rs 4,318 crores.

SAARC

Under SAARC, the currency swap limit between India and SAARC is 100 million USD. India and Bhutan jointly inaugurated Rs 7 crore ground earth station that was developed with the assistance from ISRO.

India-Bhutan Hydroelectric Projects

The major projects carried out by Bhutan under India’s assistance are 60 MW Kurichhu Hydroelectric Project, 1020 MW Tala Hydroelectric project, 336 MW Chukha Hydroelectric projects.

India provided Rs 3,400 crores of financial assistance to Bhutan during its 10th five-year plan.

Sashastra Seema Bal

The Government of India deployed twelve battalions of Sashastra Seema Bal along the border. The SSB is deployed along the border of Bhutan and Nepal. It was established in 1963. The primary purpose of SSB was to counter the aggression of Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It is currently operating under Ministry of Home Affairs.

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