Time to recognize India’s position as one of world’s leading economies
The bbc.co.uk made a claim on Friday that the UK is looking to end its financial aid to India in 2015. In an interview with world’s leading news website, British Internal secretary Justin Greening stated support worth $319 million is likely to be phased out between now 2015. However, the UK will continue to offer technical assistance to India to help South Asia’s biggest economy grow at a rapid pace.
The move has been made as part of the recognition reflecting India’s economic status and growth in world’s market, Ms Greening further added. Indian leaders have also welcomed the move. Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said:
“Aid is the past, trade is the future.”
Top five recipients of UK aid for 2011-12
However, public organisations and charities have criticised the move as they believe it would be the poorest who will suffer the most. Until the last year, India was one of the biggest recipients of UK’s financial aid, receiving an average $320 million over the past three years.
Some of the conservative MPs in the parliament see the UK’s financial support to India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, as unfair to other third world countries. The MP’s were of the view that the UK should not be giving aid to a country that plans to spend billions of dollars on its space program.
In the past, some government officials have defended the aid, referring to the extreme poverty existing in rural areas of Subcontinent. Furthermore, there are historical colonial ties between the two nations.
Since taking over the role, Ms Greening has been reviewing the level of financial support offered by the UK and also visited India to discuss future arrangements.
An analysts based in Delhi says UK’s announcement on aid given to India has been long expected but it will not affect UK-India relationship in anyway. India has long held the position that while it welcomes any financial aid from developed countries, it will never actively seek it. The move is also expected to play a big part in recognition of India’s economic transformation.
Charities, however, did not like the move as much of the financial was being sent to the poorest regions in India.
“Despite India’s impressive economic progress, 1.6 million children died in India last year – a quarter of all global child deaths,” Kitty Arie, Save the Children’s director of advocacy, said.
“We agree that in the longer term, aid to India should be phased out as the country continues to develop, but we believe that the poorest children will need our ongoing help.”
It will be interesting to see if the UK continues to support Indian non government based organisation after 2015 in an effort to save the children and tackle poverty and health provision standards across the country.