US aid to India drops by 16%



Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed a 16 percent cut in the American aid to India, reflecting the transition from a traditional "donor-recipient" relationship to a "strategic partnership" between the two countries.

"With respect to India, for the fiscal year 2014, the State Department request is USD 91 million. This represents a 16 percent decrease from the fiscal levels 2012 (the previous actual spending)," a senior State Department official told a news agency.

This is in continuation of the trend that has emerged over the past few years.

In 2010, the United States aid to India was USD 126.7 million, which drooped to USD 121.6 million in 2011 and USD 108 million in 2012 and was proposed to USD 98.3 million in the current fiscal of 2013, which ends on September 30.

"That (drop in US aid to India this year) reflects the ongoing transition we had under way from the more traditional donor-recipient kind of relationship to much more of a strategic partnership," the official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the press.

"It is a partnership that is addressing India and increasingly global developmental challenges. I think the signature initiative there is the Agency for International Development Millennium Alliance," the official said.

Of the US aid to India, the largest portion - two/third - of that is slated for the health sector.

"The biggest programme is in global health. About USD 61 million is going to the health programme. India still has quite a number of health challenges," the official said.

In 2012, the US aid to India in the health sector was some USD 76 million.

Overall the State Department budget request for FY-2014 was USD 47.8 billion, which is a six per cent cut from the previous FY-2012 of actual spending.

PTI