Come January 1, 2016 and India will no longer receive financial aid from the UK. This decision was taken by the British government in 2012 after a domestic outcry about India’s growing economic status.
The transition period took three years during which the existing financial grant projects were completed, while unutilised funds moved into what are called “technical assistance” projects. The Parliament was informed by the ministry of external affairs last week that “it was agreed that the existing financial grant projects will be completed responsibly as planned and technical cooperation would continue by sharing skills and expertise or in investments in private sector projects”.
The decision gained momentum in 2012 after the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had famously said British aid was “a peanut” in India’s total development spend and India could very well do without it. This was followed by growing voices in the UK protesting against British aid to India. They stated India has a robust space and defence programme and made a case for withdrawing aid to India. However, the aid activists pointed to India’s poor millions to make a case for retaining the programme.
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