Modi budget hikes Indian aid, mum on regional bank

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his first budget since taking office in May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes clear that he’s not about to put India’s own emerging donor ambitions on the backburner now that the New Development Bank is in place. Photo by: Narendra Modi / CC BY-SA

On Tuesday, the BRICS economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — signed off on the launch of their widely anticipated multilateral development bank, the New Development Bank, at their summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil. Seen as a competitor to the World Bank, the New Development Bank claims a startup capital of $50 billion, drawn equally from the BRICS economies.

In his first budget since taking office in May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes clear that he’s not about to put India’s own emerging donor ambitions on the backburner now that the New Development Bank is in place — at least on paper. Modi is believed to have coined the name of the new bank.

Devex analysis of the first Modi budget, which was released last week, finds that New Delhi plans to scale up Indian aid spending even further to 94.8 billion Indian rupees ($1.6 billion) in 2014-15 — a 34 percent increase over last year’s levels.

The previous government’s interim, pre-election budget had proposed a more modest 18 percent jump in Indian aid spending. Buoyed by strong and steady growth at home, India’s foreign aid budget has grown more than fourfold over the past decade.

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About the author

  • Piccio

    Lorenzo Piccio

    Lorenzo is a contributing analyst for Devex. Previously Devex's senior analyst for development finance in Manila, he is currently an MA candidate in international economics and international development at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. Lorenzo holds a bachelor's degree in government and social studies from Wesleyan University.