Will discuss fuel subsidy with new Bhutan government: India

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) India said Thursday it has assured Bhutan it will discuss the issue of fuel subsidy with the new government in Thimphu and does not want to create any hardship for the people of the Himalayan kingdom.

"We don't want to create any hardship for the people of Bhutan," said an official source adding that they have assured Bhutan that they will take up the issue of fuel subsidy as soon as the new government is in place.

Bhutan is in the election process now and there is no elected government.

Bhutan's 10th Plan, under which India was providing such assistance, expired June 30.

"We will find a way to deal with the situation," the source said, and admitted that the "timing could have been better".

Bhutan has India for a re-look at the decision to withdraw subsidy on cooking gas and kerosene provided by India.

The source said the situation was "unprecedented" as the Bhutanese government's budget had also expired.

The source also said that India will need to go into "careful accounting" of the subsidy.

Former Indian ambassador Pavan K. Verma Thursday criticized as "ill-timed and unwise" the Indian decision to withdraw subsidy to the cooking gas provided to Bhutan.

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