UK Aid to India Under Review

A slum in Agra, India. U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell says Britain will still continue to support millions of Indians who are battling poverty and disease. Photo by: Paula Rey / CC BY-SA Paula ReyCC BY-SA

The United Kingdom is reviewing its annual development aid to India, worth 250 million pounds (USD374 million dollars), as the subcontinent is seen as no longer in need of foreign assistance.

Conservative Party member Jo Johnson said India is “no longer a natural aid recipient.”

“India can now fund its own development needs…It has a defense budget of USD31.5 billion, plans for a prestige-boosting moon-shot and a substantial foreign aid program of its own,” Johnson said.

Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell said the “£250 million of public money spent annually on India could be scaled back,” The Times of India reports.

Allegations of the misuse of an educational grant also put more pressure on the U.K. government to review its aid allotment for India, The Hindu reports. Mitchell promised an investigation on the matter.

However, Mitchell said Britain will continue to support “the millions of Indians who are battling against poverty and disease.’’

India is the largest recipient of British development assistance but is also seen as an emerging economic superpower.

The U.K. has taken more cautious measures in allocating aid to the South Asian nation and other countries amid sweeping budget cuts in public spending following its worst post-war economic crisis.

Devex reported that the U.K. will also stop giving aid to China and Russia and will instead redirect funds to help the world’s poorest nations.

About the author

  • Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.