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Government 'to cut India aid funds'

The Government is to cut foreign aid to India because the country's growing economy means it no longer needs the handouts, according to reports.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening 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 South Asian country, but committed the UK to spending an average of £280 million a year in the country's poorest states until 2015.

Many have claimed India does not need the cash as it has its own space programme and spends a reported £70 billion a year tackling poverty.

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".

Ms Greening is due to travel to India for talks with the government about winding down the aid payments, according to reports.

It is believed she may divert the money sent to India to poorer countries rather than cutting it from the UK's overall foreign aid budget.

The UK will continue to provide India with expertise and technical assistance, it is understood.

Britain is committed to increasing aid expenditure to the United Nations target of 0.7% of GDP by 2013.


From Belfast Telegraph