UK ends aid to India, but grants to continue

31 December 2015

The British government will, from 1 January 2016, cut off its aid to India worth millions of pounds a year.

As per statistics released by the Department for International Development (DfID), India received 279 million in 2014, a 10-million increase over the previous year.

Asserting that the government is "not worried" about Britain deciding to stop financial aid to the country, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had on 23 December said the move implies that Britain recognises India's economic strength.

While financial aid will come to an end, the UK will continue to offer grants and technical assistance to India.

This, however, has sparked anger in some quarters in the UK.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the UK`s TaxPayers Alliance, said, "British taxpayers will be staggered that their money is being used to support projects in a country that can well afford to look after its own citizens, especially since we have been told aid to India would be scaled back."

UK international development secretary Justine Greening had announced three years ago that Britain`s aid to India would end by the end of 2015, as the two countries developed "a new kind of relationship".

"We have agreed that the UK`s programme of financial grant aid to India will end. We will finish existing financial grant projects responsibly, so that they all complete as planned by 2015," she had said.

The latest figures revealed that Britain`s overall aid spending has risen to 11.7 billion and that it now spends most of its aid money on a fund to tackle climate change.

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