The External Affairs Ministry has instructed the Finance Ministry to inform London that India will not accept further aid from next April.Excellent. Let us hope that the Indian government sticks to its guns, stops taking British and any other foreign aid and concentrates on making India investment-friendly for its own people and for foreigners.
Last week, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told the ministry that “internal discussions” within UK’s Department for International Development — which accounts for over 80% of all bilateral aid to India — were “to limit the aid further and channelise it to specific projects of their choice in certain states instead of routing it through the Central government”.
“Rather than wait for such a situation to develop... it would be better if our decision not to avail any further DFID assistance with effect from 1st April 2011 could be conveyed to the British side in an appropriate manner at the earliest,” she wrote to Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla.
Let us also hope that DFID accepts that and does not plead with the Indian government to go on accepting aid that is so destructive and something that we really cannot afford any more. Nor should we, incidentally. Unfortunately, DFID's existence and ever growing financial clout depends on countries getting foreign aid. They are not likely to kill the goose that lays those golden eggs.