Government to cut foreign aid to India as part of 'new approach' to funding poorer countries

 

The Government is to cut its longstanding commitment to provide foreign aid to India because the country's growing economy means it no longer needs British support, it emerged today.

Justine Greening, the new International Development Secretary, is expected to announce that the UK's commitment to India will radically change at the end of the current eight-year funding programme.

A review of aid last year led to a reduction in the sums going to the India, but it committed the UK to spending an average of £280 million a year in the country's poorest states until 2015.

Ms Greening plans to travel to India in the next few months for talks with the government about a timetable for winding down aid payments which have long been criticised by Tory MPs.

She opened discussions with members of the Indian government during a World Bank meeting in Tokyo last month. Last week she told MPs that she wanted to continue those talks “as a matter of urgency”.

However it is understood the government will continue to provide India with expertise and technical assistance, including advising state governments in the country on their own development projects and providing training materials for Indian aid workers.

“We have made it clear over the last couple of years that we do not expect to be in India indefinitely,” said a government source.

Critics point out that India does not need the cash as it has its own space programme and spends a reported £70 billion a year tackling poverty.

However despite calls from some senior Tories to reduce Britain's aid budget in lines with cuts to other Government Departments this is thought to be unlikely.

Britain is committed to increasing aid expenditure to the United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of GDP by 2013 and the aid money currently going to India is expected to be diverted to other poorer countries.

While other Whitehall ministries face cuts, the budget of the international development department will rise by 35 per cent in real terms by 2015.

Greening has pledged a “new approach” to aid with a greater focus on helping the world's poorest. She is also reviewing funding to Rwanda amid concerns about the human rights record of Paul Kagame, the president.

Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee last year said the country no longer wanted or needed the British aid, describing the money as “a peanut in our total development expenditure”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn