UK continues £1bn India aid despite 'peanuts' jibe
Monday 06 February 2012
Britain intends to fulfil its commitments on aid to India, despite a minister from the emerging economic giant's government dismissing the £1 billion assistance as "peanuts", Downing Street said today.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said that India no longer wants or needs the British money, which he described as "a peanut in our total development expenditure".
His comment sparked calls for the programme to be cancelled, with Conservative MP Philip Davies saying: "India spends tens of billions on defence and hundreds of millions a year on a space programme. In those circumstances, it would be unacceptable to give them aid even if they were begging us for it.
"Given that they don't even want it, it would be even more extraordinary if it were to be allowed to continue. There will be millions of hard-pressed families wondering why on earth the Government is wasting money in this way."
The Government is committed to increasing aid expenditure to the United Nations target of 0.7% of GDP by 2013. A review of aid last year led to a reduction in the sums going to India, but committed the UK to spending an average of £280 million a year in the country's poorest states until 2015.
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said he understood that Mr Mukherjee's comments - widely reported in today's press - had been made about a year ago.
The spokesman added: "We have an aid programme in this country, we have aid commitments. We continue to think it is right to stick to those aid commitments."
He added: "We have reviewed our aid commitments to India. We continue to provide aid to India, but we focus it on the three poorest states.
"The reason we are doing that is because a huge number of the poorest people in the world live in these states.
"The Government has always been very clear about sticking to its aid commitments and the fact that it would not balance the books on the backs of the poorest people in the world. It is going to stick to that."
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
North Korea executes Kim Jong Un's powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek for 'attempting to overthrow the state'
Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior C# ASP.NET Deve...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: QA Automation Tester FX Trading Platform(Ruby, ...
£25000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: VB.NET SQL Developer/...
£45000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: Senior Automation QA ...