13:06 10 November 2012
The International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, has declared that Britain will no longer be focusing on giving India financial aid, and that this will end by 2015. The decision comes after deliberation over India’s current economic status.
Ms. Greening, who visited India this week, has been in talks with the country’s officials in order to work out how the UK’s aid can best be used. The result of this visit was that it became clear India would benefit more from technical assistance.
The UK’s focus will therefore shift from giving financial aid. Britain has given India annual aid of £280million – as reported by The Telegraph – and around £200million is expected to be saved over the next few years.
“After reviewing the programme and holding discussions with the government of India, we agreed that now is the time to move to a relationship focusing on skill sharing rather than aid," said Ms. Greening.
“India is successfully developing and our own bilateral relationship has to keep up with 21st Century India.
“It is time to recognise India's changing place in the world.”
The change reflects India’s progress and as Ms. Greening points out, when “countries get richer” the focus should move “from aid to trade”.
India’s Foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid, is quoted by the BBC on this matter. He agreed that “aid is the past and trade is the future."
Based on reports, India has recently been successful in tackling its poverty issues, with many millions of people in the country being taken out of poverty.
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged 0.7per cent of the UK’s income to be spent on development programmes abroad.
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