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Updated: November 9, 2012 19:50 IST

Britain to stop aid to India from 2015

Hasan Suroor
Comment (15)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
A file picture of Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom.
PTI A file picture of Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, United Kingdom.

Succumbing to growing domestic pressure, the British government on Friday announced halt to further financial aid to India but said that all existing commitments until 2015 would be honoured.

The focus will then shift to offering technical assistance and investment in private sector poverty alleviation projects.

The move, which would save Britain over £200 million over the next three years, follows mounting opposition within the ruling Tory party to continued financial aid to major emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil at a time when Britain itself is facing a deep economic crisis.

Last year, Britain gave India about £250m in bilateral aid besides £29m in technical co-operation.

Announcing the decision, the International Development Secretary Justine Greening said it was taken in consultation with the Indian government during her visit to New Delhi early this week.

"After reviewing the programme and holding discussions with the government of India this week, we agree that now is the time to move to a relationship focusing on skills sharing rather than aid," she said pointing out that India was “successfully developing’’ and it was time to recognise its “changing place in the world’’.

"It is of course critical that we fulfil all the commitments we have already made and that we continue with those short-term projects already under way which are an important part of the UK and government of India's development programme," she added.

India has long maintained that it does not need aid and would prefer more trade with Britain. The President, Pranab Mukherjee, when he was Finance Minister, dismissed the money India got from Britain as “a peanut in our total development expenditure.”

Aid agencies called the decision “premature’’ saying that despite India’s “impressive’’ economic growth there were still too many poor people in the country who needed a helping hand.

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Is it all a storm in a teacup? At a joint press conference with the UK
Foreign Secretary, Hon'ble Minister Khurshid said aid as an issue "did
not merit a discussion". Current President when Finance Minister had
dismissed British aid as "peanuts".

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 11:26 IST

What an irony that Britain is giving aid to India, when it should be
the other way around!! Most of the counties here broke to the bone,
selling all the Government assets to pay off the bills (what next??),
yet, the political apparatus carries the same feeling of 'Raj' that it
once was!! British economy is on the brink of collapse, do not get
fooled by the few that you see outside, the common man in Britain is
struggling to meet meager ends meet. That is the reality and 250
million £, will go a long way in funding the education, winding down
NHS, helping millions in Britain that badly need it now with the onset
of a long, cold winter.

from:  Ram A
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 00:49 IST

Why wait that long? You would be lucky even 15cents of a dollar gets used for the real
purpose behind it.

Moreover, why this begging? Rather, India should offer aid to UK if they need it.

from:  Suhas
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 00:32 IST

Bottom line, $320 million does not buy much influence anymore.

from:  K. P.
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 21:54 IST

Yes, very true !!! Whatever aid is being offered by Britain is just like
" Jeera in Camel's mouth". So it is better to not offer any aid just for
the sake of aiding.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 21:29 IST

can you guys at least give our kohinoor diamond back?

from:  sriram
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 20:39 IST

This is the right way forward I think. It indeed does not make any sense for Britain to continue to give aid to India which is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. The problem with us is not lack of resources but poor prioritizing of issues and rampant corruption instead that eats into the financial capacity of the nation to take care of its people. The magnitude of scams unearthed in recent times points to what we otherwise could have secured for the people in terms of giving them proper education, better healthcare, improved transportation had the potential gain we could have made not lined the pockets of those supposed to govern us. From Britain's point of view it is a correct decision and from our end too we should welcome the move since it will spare us of the embarrassment of living with the tag of an aid receiving nation.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 19:23 IST

Well, on a general view yes, India is developing, but wondering the
development aid was to develop infrastructure in villages and small
towns and this hasnt changed much even if the cities have boomed. Its
just a lame excuse to stop providing funds due to personal crisis.

Although i support the principles of Self Dependency.

from:  Ashim
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 19:00 IST

thats good. now it considers as equal rather than poor friendI

from:  Idorov
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 18:03 IST

British officials are said to have pleaded with Singh to continue the
aid relationship during Prime Minister David Cameron's 2010 India visit;
otherwise it would be an embarrassment for them. Good that they have
decided to do away with it. The then FM of India termed their aid as
peanuts.

from:  Subhash
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:39 IST

so bad. Cidambarams, rajas and other gr8 assets without ets will be looser

from:  subramani
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:31 IST

We dont need aid...coz thats anyways eaten up by our politicians....however just gives us our 180 years worth of loot back on which your British economy was built up!!

from:  Jigar Parekh
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:27 IST

This was expected to happen sooner or later. The rejection of Britain
led Euro-fighter Typhoon in MMRCA deal had created a lot of noise in
British media over the continuation of aid when India had "failed" to
reciprocate. It is a welcoming step as India does not need some
"peanuts" anymore. We have enough coffers to effectively fund our
welfare programs. In fact we are having lots of welfare programs these
days. What is lacking is the effective corruption free delivery
mechanism for these program.

from:  Firdaus Ul Haque
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:23 IST

India shouldnt be taking CHARITY from them. India will have enough money if the politicians didn't rob. Just ask the politicians to stop robbing money from the people of India, so that you dont have to post these pathetic news anymore.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:11 IST

I hope this now embarrases the Indian govt to look after its own poor and malnourished people and improve the infratsructure of the country along with its health and sanitation. If India can afford nuclear and space power, then look after the poor and malnourished.

from:  vida
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 16:59 IST
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