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article imageBritish overseas aid to India not wanted by India government

By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 5, 2012 in World
British overseas aid to India has become a controversial subject due to Indian economic development. The Telegraph has revealed that the aid is not even wanted by the Indian government who dismissed it as "peanuts."
India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Britain that India does not require British foreign aid, and tried to stop it almost a year ago, the Telegraph reported. They revealed that Mukherjee said in Parliament “We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development exercises (expenditure)."
Nevertheless the British Department for International Development (BDID) insisted on continuing to lavish millions of pounds of aid to India, declaring it would cause political embarrassment if the programme was terminated. Aid to India constitutes the largest proportion of BDID spending overseas, causing controversy due to India's space and nuclear programmes and burgeoning economy. As India was rejecting the aid as unnecessary, British ministers were defending the decision to give one billion pounds of aid at the rate of £280 million per year until 2015, the Guardian reported.
British foreign aid is good for business the government argues, as well as relieving poverty and saving lives. However the Telegraph revealed the extent of mismanagement and waste of the money sent, reporting "government audit reports found £70 million had disappeared from one DFID-funded project alone. Hundreds of thousands of pounds was spent on delivering more than 7,000 televisions to schools — most of which did not have electricity. Few of the televisions ever arrived. A further £44,000 of British aid was allegedly siphoned off by one project official to finance a movie directed by her son."
According to ET the government is resisting calls for aid to India to be reduced after it lost a lucrative Indian contract for the purchase of fighter jets to the French who give only £19 million of aid to India. International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell has made a great deal about increasing the foreign aid budget and has linked the benefits of giving aid to India to securing the warplane deal lost to the French.
Increasingly the U.K. government has been criticised for continuing to borrow to support the habit of donating unprecedented amounts in foreign aid, in the face of cut backs at home. Now it has been revealed that they practically had to beg India to continue receiving the aid it well and truly has egg on its face and leaves itself wide open to criticism from the electorate.
More about aid to India, Britain's department for international development, Foreign aid, Andrew Mitchell
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