Budget 2020

Budget 2020: Major cut in financial allocation for Nepal

Shrinking safety net: Army personnel getting ready to airlift relief material to Nepal after the 2015 earthquake.

Shrinking safety net: Army personnel getting ready to airlift relief material to Nepal after the 2015 earthquake.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Development likely to cast a shadow on the work that India partners in the key neighbouring nation

The Union Budget has made a major reduction in the annual allocation for financial assistance to Nepal. Apart from Nepal, aid to African countries has also been reduced.

The 2019-20 Budget had allocated ₹1,200 crore to projects in Nepal but Saturday’s numbers show that India has allocated only ₹800 crore to the projects under way in Nepal for 2020-21. The development is likely to cast a shadow on the work that India partners in the crucial Himalayan neighbour which has in recent months showed warmth towards China.

Watch | Highlights of Union Budget 2020-21

Substantial cut

The Budget also showed substantial reduction for “other developing countries” that will now receive ₹120 crore compared to last year’s allocation of ₹150 crore.

Similar reduction was also noticed in the African department where ₹350 crore has been allocated for next year in comparison to last year’s ₹450 crore. Allocation for Latin American countries has increased and currently ₹20 crore will be spent on diplomacy with the region which is a favoured area of new Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

The figure for Sri Lanka has also been trimmed from previous year’s ₹205 crore to ₹200 crore.

Disaster relief, a chosen area of the Modi government, has also received a jolt with only ₹20 crore being allocated compared to last year’s ₹30 crore.

Bhutan tops chart

Bhutan, the usual recipient of the largest share of Indian aid, continues in the top rung with ₹2,884.65 crore. Financial support for Afghanistan continues to remain the same at ₹400 crore.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 6:26:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/budget-2020-major-cut-in-financial-allocation-for-nepal/article30715809.ece

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