Budget 2019: 15% hike in MEA's allocation

Budget 2019: 15% hike in MEA's allocation

Govt to boost support for development projects in foreign countries

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday proposed almost 15% hike in the allocation for the Ministry of External Affairs, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Government proposed to give a boost to New Delhi's support to development projects in foreign countries. 

Sitharaman proposed to earmark Rs 17884.78 crore for the Ministry of External Affairs in 2019-20  (MEA) – raising the allocation by 14.77% from Rs 15582.00 crore in 2018-19 Revised Estimate.

She proposed to revamp the Indian Development Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) designed to provide concessional financing for projects and contributes to infrastructure development and capacity building in the recipient developing countries. “Mindful of our position as the sixth largest economy, we will look at alternative development models which include private sector equity, multilateral financing, contributions from corporates and non-residents,” Finance Minister said, presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha on Friday. 

The Government in March 2018 approved opening of 18 new diplomatic missions of India in Africa. She noted that five embassies had already been opened in Rwanda, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Guinea and Burkina Faso in 2018-19. “(The) Government intends to open another four new embassies in the year 2019-20. This will not only increase the footprint of India’s overseas presence, but also enable us to provide better and more accessible public services, especially to the local Indian community in these countries,” said Sitharaman.