The British government has stopped sending financial aid of millions of pounds to India. Before implementing its decision on the first day of 2016, the David Cameron administration issued a statement on Thursday, saying that although the move sparked anger in some quarters (main Indian origin people) in Britain, the government decided not to support projects in a country that is capable enough to ensure its progress. However, London will continue offering grants and technical assistance to New Delhi.
In its latest report, the Department for International Development (DfID) mentioned that the South Asian nation had received GBP 279 million from Britain in 2014 and GBP 269 million in 2013.
On Thursday, Chief Executive of the UK’s TaxPayers Alliance Jonathan Isaby told the media: “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.”
In 2012, UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening had announced that Britain would stop sending financial aid to India by the end of 2015, stressing that London and New Delhi 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 added.
Meanwhile, the Narendra Modi government has said that it is “not worried” about Britain’s decision. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed the decision, stressing that Britain finally recognised India’s economic strength.
According to the DfID report, Britain’s overall aid spending has increased to GBP 11.7 billion, as the European powerhouse now spends most of its aid amount on a fund to tackle climate change.