New Delhi: Britain on Sunday 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
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 GBP 1.6
billion 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.