Govt not worried about Britain stopping financial aid to India

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New Delhi, Dec 23: Asserting that the government is "not worried" about Britain deciding to stop financial aid to the country, Union Minister Sushma Swaraj today said the move implies that Britain recognises India's economic strength.

In November 2012, UK government had said that development relationship with India would change after 2015 from financial grant aid projects to technical assistance programmes.

Sushma Swaraj

"We are not worried about Britain stopping the (financial) aid. We are happy because it also implies that Britain recognises our economic power," the External Affairs Minister said while replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha.

Swaraj said the development partnership between India and the UK was under transition, with the focus shifting from financial assistance projects to technical assistance programmes by sharing skills and expertise or investment in private sector projects.

Technical cooperation would focus on policy cooperation and skills exchange in areas like growth, trade and investment, education and skill development, health, governance, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation, she added.

"The programmes will be implemented in consonance with India's policies and guidelines on technical cooperation," the Minister said. In 2014-15 and current fiscal, five new agreements for technical assistance projects were signed between the two countries.

The UK Department for International Development's (DFID) India specific plan was for the period from 2008-2015. During the first phase of DFID's operational plan for India (2008-09 to 2010-11), committment of about Rs 8,000 crore was fully utilised. Till December 18 of the current fiscal, DFID has provided Rs 190.06 crore financial aid for government sector programmes.

PTI

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