After her Singapore and London trips to scout for investments for Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee will embark on a five-day visit to Bhutan with a fresh wish-list.
A four-point agenda is likely to figure prominently during her visit to the kingdom from October 5 to October 9.
Nabanna sources said that of the four proposals on the table is a dedicated bus service between Kolkata and Bhutan’s capital Thimphu via Siliguri. The chief minister will also propose the development of the Bengal-Bhutan tourism circuit during her meetings with Bhutanese officials.
During her meeting with key players in Bhutan’s food processing sector, Mamata is likely to pitch Bengal as an ideal destination for the development of food processing industries.
The fourth agenda is how to jointly crack down on insurgents and fight cross-border terrorism emanating from the kingdom and Bangladesh. “Cross-border terrorism from Bhutan and Bangladesh has reduced significantly in the recent past. However, intelligence reports suggest that the KLO could be trying to regroup and use Bhutan as a launchpad to mount strikes,” an official said.
During her visit, the chief minister will hold meetings with Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and the minister for economic affairs Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk, among others. She is also scheduled to meet Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Nabanna sources said unlike her previous overseas visits, no one from the state’s film and cultural circuit will accompany the CM during her Bhutan trip.
During her previous visits to Bangladesh, Singapore and London, she was accompanied by a sizeable contingent from Bengal’s cultural circuit.
While the Bhutan trip is primarily aimed at attracting investment and promoting bilateral trade, state finance and industries minister Amit Mitra will not be a part of the delegation during the visit.
Among the Cabinet members and top state officials who will accompany the chief minister to the Himalayan kingdom are housing and youth affairs minister Arup Biswas, North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb, chief secretary Sanjay Mitra and finance secretary HK Dwivedi, among others.