U.K. aid to India may not go beyond 2015.
On March 18, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell told The Sunday Times the Department for International Development is “walking the last mile” with India, Agence France Presse reports.
Mitchell’s statement comes a month after India announced it will buy the French Rafale fighter jets over the British-built Typhoon jets. It also comes after reports India’s finance minister called U.K. aid ”peanuts” came into the spotlight.
A DfID spokeswoman, whose name was not revealed, told AFP the department will not be ending the program “now” but that it will not be in India “forever” — the same words Mitchell dropped in February at the height of the controversies. DfID said the current program would “run to its conclusion.”
India receives 280 million pounds ($443 million) annually in U.K. aid — the largest recipient of British bilateral foreign assistance. For the past five years, the Western country has spent 1 billion pounds on aid programs in India, and has committed an additional 600 million pounds in the run up to 2015.
While critics of British foreign aid will likely rejoice over the news, many will sure argue that ending aid to the country will not be a wise decision. India, despite being touted as a rising nation along with China due to its fast-growing economy, is still home to a third of the world’s poor.
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