India faces cuts in annual UK aid

Last Updated 11 July 2010, 08:41 IST

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, signalled that the "250 million pounds of public money spent annually in nuclear armed India could be scaled back."
He said the rich NRI population of Britain could do more to help their countrymen.

Besides, the 40 million pounds spent by the Department for International Development (DFID) in Vietnam, now regarded as an Asian "tiger" economy, will be axed.
It follows the disclosure that development funding to China and Russia would be withdrawn.

Mitchell told The Sunday Times: "India is more complex and more difficult than China. But this is a (aid) programme I am looking at in detail."

He defended the government's decision to ring-fence overseas aid while most other departments face savage cuts.

Last month, Britain, shocked by reports of massive embezzlement in India in the use of millions of pounds granted as aid for education, promised "zero tolerance to corruption" and launched an "immediate inquiry".

Mitchell had then said in a statement to PTI that the allegations reported from India about widespread corruption in the use of British aid were "shocking".

"These are shocking allegations. I have launched an immediate inquiry to ensure British aid money has not been misused. The new British Government will have a zero tolerance policy to corruption," he had said.

"When I took up this job ... I made a pledge to British taxpayers; they must know that for every pound of their money, we will get 100 pence of value."

(Published 11 July 2010, 08:41 IST)

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