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DON'T give aid, India doesn't need it: UK MPs

Last updated on: February 16, 2011 07:52 IST

DON'T give aid, India doesn't need it: UK MPs

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Britain's attempt at offering a helping hand to India by pledging to hand over a billion pounds as aid till 2015 has outraged politicians in London who believe that the move is an 'unacceptable' waste of public money.

The Daily Express quoted critics of the overseas aid budget as saying that public money was being wasted at a time when public services in Britain were being drastically cut.


Image: Demonstrators play drums during a march protesting the raising of student tuition fees in London
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
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'India has nukes, space shuttles; it DOESN'T need aid'

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They also appeared annoyed with the fact that the cash was being offered to India, a new economic giant that has nuclear weapons, a space programme and itself gives aid to Africa, while schools, libraries, swimming pools, meals-on-wheels, nurseries and other services were being threatened with closure in Britain, the paper said.


Image: A man passes near a banner at a protest camp against unemployment in London
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters
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India's economy is growing at nearly 8.5 percent a year

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Amid concerns that India's economy is growing at nearly 8.5 percent a year, while that of Britain has faltered in the last three months of 2010, Tory Member of Parliament Philip Davies plans to bring up the issue during International Development Questions in the Commons on Wednesday.


Image: The skyline of Mumbai during the night
Photographs: Arko Datt/Reuters
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'We can only dream of India's growth rate'

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"It is completely unacceptable to be giving aid to a country that can afford to spend vast amounts of money on nuclear weapons and a space programme.  India's economy is growing at a rate that we can only dream of. It is quite extraordinary to be giving aid money to a country that could end up lending it back to us. International aid should be spent on the poorest countries of the world that have no economic growth," Davies said.

Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, expressed his disappointment by saying that India is one of the world's fastest-growing economies and paying such a huge amount is unjustifiable.  


Image: A shopping mall in New Delhi
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters
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'Aid never reaches those who really need it'

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"At a time when we are making spending cuts at home, it is unfair to force taxpayers to pour another 1billion in aid, over the next four years, into a country that has a space programme. Much of this aid never reaches those who really need it and the Department for International Development would do better to focus on trying to prevent abuses of the aid they are already giving out, before promising more," he added.

Mitchell, a Tory minister in the ruling coalition, dismissed the critics' claims to halt the aid, saying, "India has more poor people than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa."

He also said that aid money to India would be frozen until the next elections.


Image: Babu, the child of a migrant labourer, sits on a pavement in Delhi
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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