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Assistance for Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan reduced

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 28: In a move apparently to express India's displeasure at continued subjugation of democracy in Nepal and non-cooperation against terrorism by Bangladesh, India has reduced plan outlays for assistance to both countries in its 2006-2007 budget proposals.

The assistance to Bhutan and the Maldives has also been reduced while that for Sri Lanka has been left untouched and for Myanmar hiked.

According to the Budget proposals presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament today, the allocation for African and other developing countries has also been reduced while that for Central Asian nations has been hiked.

However, Afghanistan where India is actively involved in reconstruction programmes along with many other countries, does not figure in the budget proposals.

Out of a total outlay of 3695.05 crore for 2006-2007, the allocation for Bangladesh has been reduced from Rs 52 crore last year to Rs 50 crore this year while that for Nepal from Rs 66 crore to Rs 65 crore, Bhutan from Rs 1131 crore to Rs 619.51 crore and the Maldives from Rs 13 crore to six crore.

Assistance to Myanmar has been hiked from Rs 22 to Rs 25 crore and for Sri Lanka left untouched at Rs 25 crore.

The total outlay has been reduced from Rs 4182 crore in 2005-2006 to Rs 3696 in 2006-2007.

The allocation for 'international cooperation' has also been drastically reduced from Rs 122.62 crore last year to Rs 80.37 crore this year.

The budgetary allocation for international cooperation provides for the expenditure on mandatory payments of contributions to the United Nations and its agencies, Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Foundation, SAARC Secretariat and Council for Security Cooperation in Asia Pacific.

UNI

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