New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering on Friday virtually launched Phase-2 of the RuPay card allowing Bhutanese card holders access to RuPay network in India.
The two Prime Ministers had jointly launched Phase-I of the project during Mr Modi’s state visit to Bhutan in August last year. The Phase-1 has enabled visitors from India to access ATMs and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals across Bhutan.
In his address the Prime Minister assured that India would always stand with Bhutan in these difficult times of COVID-19 pandemic and the needs of the Bhutanese people would be given top priority by India at all times.
He said that like all Indians he too had special affection for Bhutan and whenever he met them, he had a feeling of closeness. Friendship between India and Bhutan was precious not only the two countries but a unique example o the entire world.
He said cooperation between the two countries in space, digital and emerging technologies would be new sources of connectivity between the two countries.
He expressed satisfaction that 11,000 RuPay transactions had taken place till now.
Welcoming Bhutan as “‘full partner’’ in this RuPay network, he said that from today, more than 100,000 RuPay card holders could use ATMs and more than 20 lakh PoS terminals in India. This could facilitate Bhutanese people visiting India for medical, education and tourism purposes or for pilgrimage.
Pointing out that space sector is another area of cooperation between the two countries, the Prime Minister said the two countries had signed a framework document for peaceful uses of outer space. He expressed happiness that ISRO would launch a Bhutanese satellite into space next year. For this purpose four Bhutanese youth would visit ISRO in December.
The Prime Minister said India would be ready to share its experiences and facilities to help Bhutanese King’s vision of developing space technology in Bhutan.