UK to terminate financial aid to India by 2015

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London, Nov 10: UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said on Friday that her government was set to terminate financial aid to India by 2015. The announcement was, however, predicted for the issue was in public knowledge for some time. Withdrawal of support will save £200 million to the UK exchequer and the latter's focus will thereafter focus on technical assistance.

Saying the move reflected India's economic progress, Greening said the UK took the decision after holding discussions with the Indian government and it was agreed that it was now time to transform the relationship. She said the UK would now emphasise on skill sharing instead of providing aid to India.

Right-wing MPs and media in the UK have been criticising providing aid to India, saying the latter which was spending huge amounts on defence and space programme did not deserve it. The British government had been defending the aid on the basis of the large-scale poverty prevailing in India.

The UK's decision to gradually terminate the aid also came as a relief to India for the latter, despite being embarrassed over the aid, was hesitant to make the first move in stopping the aid. Former Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had termed the UK aid as 'peanuts', but did not call to terminate it.

Save The Children charity, however, described the UK's decision as 'premature, saying 1.6 million children die in India every year despite the country's good economic progress.

OneIndia News

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