Not the time to end aid to India: Britain
New Delhi: Britain on Monday clarified that it has no immediate plans to end its aid programme to India after Andrew Mitchell, its international development secretary, suggested that that the assistance was being wound down.
Referring to media reports on Britain ending development aid to India, a British government spokesperson said that UK's position "remains the same - nothing has changed".
"As Andrew Mitchell said at the time we announced the results of the Bilateral Aid Review, the Indian government has made huge progress on tackling poverty but there is a huge need in India," the spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement released by the British High Commission here.
"We will not be there forever - we have said we are walking the last mile - but now is not the time to end the programme."
The UK and Indian Governments have agreed a programme which focuses on the poorest states and developing the private sector, the statement said.
It also recognises the Indian government's own commitment to policies which will help reduce poverty in the long term.
Earlier, Mitchell made it clear that his department's 1.6 billion pounds programme for the former colony is in its final phases and will be wound down as the Indian economy booms and its own efforts to alleviate poverty become increasingly effective, The Sunday Times said.
"We are walking the last mile with them," he said.