New Delhi: Playing down media reports in the
UK seeking stoppage of aid to India on the basis of a
reported Rajya Sabha proceedings last year, India on Monday said
it has always been appreciative of foreign assistance.
"The expanse of our need is such that foreign assistance
provided is very small portion of it," a senior government
"There are niche areas where we require assistance and we
have always been appreciative of efforts to provide that
assistance," he said.
The official was responding to reports in the UK`s
`Sunday Times` and `The Sunday Telegraph` that Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee had stated in the Rajya Sabha last
August that India did not need British aid which, according to
him, was "peanuts". "We do not require the aid. It is a peanut
in our total development exercises (expenditure)."
The official said everything was on record and one can
look for themselves what was said in Parliament and what the
story is saying.
The official said India has an ongoing process of trying
to work with international partners which are willing to
provide assistance, the areas they can provide help in and the
quantum of that assistance.
Reacting to the media reports, the spokesman of the
Indian High Commission in the UK had said yesterday that "yes,
we have currently an aid programme with the UK. We are in
ongoing consultation with British government on nature, future
direction, priority and manner of disbursal (of the aid)."
Officials had insisted last night that British aid to
India was necessary and that "now is not the time to end aid