“We do not require the aid,” he said, according to the official transcript of the session.
“It is a peanut in our total development exercises [expenditure].” He said the Indian government wanted to “voluntarily” give it up.
According to a leaked memo, the foreign minister, Nirumpama Rao, proposed “not to avail [of] any further DFID [British] assistance with effect from 1st April 2011,” because of the “negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID”.
But officials at DFID, Britain’s Department for International Development, told the Indians that cancelling the programme would cause “grave political embarrassment” to Britain, according to sources in Delhi.
DFID has sent more than £1 billion of UK taxpayers’ money to India in the last five years and is planning to spend a further £600 million on Indian aid by 2015.
“They said that British ministers had spent political capital justifying the aid to their electorate,” one source told The Sunday Telegraph.
“They said it would be highly embarrassing if the Centre [the government of India] then pulled the plug.”
About time we stopped telling the Indian Government what to do, don\’t you think?
And save a bit of cash of course….