Bhutan PM: Militants from India in no position to re-establish bases inside Bhutan; China and Bhutan hold 19th round of border talks; Statistical Bureau: Inflation averaged 4.41 per cent during 2009;
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  • Even as reports indicated that Bhutanese security forces during the past year had cracked down on three Maoist camps in southern districts and captured about eight rebels, Prime Minister Thinley asserted that militants from India were in no position to re-establish bases in Bhutan.1

    The 19th round of border talks between China and Bhutan took place from January 11-13 in Thimpu. Both countries agreed to undertake a joint field survey of disputed areas. China also announced that it would be participating in April 2010 SAARC summit to be hosted by Bhutan.2

    Bhutan’s National Statistical Bureau (NSB) indicated that inflation in 2009 had averaged 4.41 percent mainly due to rising food prices. Inflation had peaked to 8.3 percent during the year.3

    PM Thinley, addressing a large gathering at Gelephu on January 21 stated that his government would try and link all the 205 gewogs in the country with roads. The PM also added that a medical college with assistance from India would be built by 2012. On foreign direct investments (FDI), Mr. Thinley stated that Bhutan would encourage the participation of international financial institutions and emphasized that the aim of his government was to advertise Bhutan as an organic food producer.4

    In other developments, Bhutan and India have finalised the implementation agreements for Punatsangchhu-II and Mangdechhu hydroelectric projects. Economic Affairs Minister Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk also announced that the construction of the 4,060 MW Sunkosh hydropower project would also start by early 2011.5