UK aid to India will end in 2015

Sat, Nov 10, 2012, 00:00

British aid to India is to be brought to an end in 2015 in recognition of the booming sub-continent’s “changing place in the world”.

Britain’s controversial programme of direct financial assistance to India will be wound down over the next three years after international development secretary Justine Greening announced an immediate halt to any new commitments.

The move prompted criticism from some humanitarian organisations, who warned that British aid still made a difference to the poor of India despite the country’s increasing wealth.

But it will delight many Tories who have taken issue with prime minister David Cameron’s continued commitment to overseas aid, despite large cuts at home.

After 2015, UK support for India will consist of technical assistance, with the provision of development expertise which officials said would still cost about one-tenth of the current programme.

But there will be no more direct aid, which has been running at £280 million (€350 million) a year since Ms Greening’s predecessor, Andrew Mitchell, reduced it last year.

While aid programmes in India that are already under way will be completed as planned, no new ones will start, reducing spending between now and 2015 by about £200 million. – (PA)