Rebuking claims of a report released by Nepal’s government on aid by foreign donors, which showed a decline in India’s assistance provided to Nepal, India has said that it was fully committed to Nepal’s socio-economic development and there was no reduction in aid extended by it.
The statement came after the release of the report, which showed that China has overtaken India as the top donor country to Nepal. Relations between the two countries have slowed down in recent times, which led many to believe that it could be a major reason for the alleged cut in aid.
“I think this comparison is completely wrong. I have also seen these reports which say that India’s aid to Nepal is US $22.227 million. This is a misleading figure which totally distorts the picture. Actual funds released to assist Nepal from the MEA’s ‘Aid-to-Nepal budget’ are in the range of Rs 300 to 400 crore annually, or over US $50 to 70 million”, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on May 12. Speaking about the likely discrepancy in aid, Mr Swarup said that a good part of India’s aid is not necessarily routed through Nepal’s treasury. He also gave a breakup of the assistance provided to various sectors in the country, including 3,000 annual scholarships to Nepalese students and training for over 700 citizens from security, economic and other organisations.
Emphasising that there were approximately 20 small development projects, Mr Swarup said, “Four Lines of Credit totalling US $1.65 billion are available for utilisation, of which only US $150 million has been disbursed since 2010. Its interest equalisation is borne by the MEA. We look forward to their speedy utilization”.
The deterioration in relations with Nepal, along with the cancellation of the country’s President to India had raised concerns about India’s continued assistance to Nepal.
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