Britain will maintain controversial £1 billion India aid: FT

14th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain will continue to provide more than a billion pounds to India despite political pressure to cut aid in light of the Asian country's booming economy, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Andrew Mitchell, Britain's international development secretary, told the British newspaper that the government would maintain 280 million pounds (449 million dollars, 332 million euros) of aid every year until 2015.

Mitchell suggested last year that nuclear-armed India, which has its own space and aid programme, could be considered too wealty to receive aid.

"UK money should be spent helping the poorest people in the poorest countries," he said.

Indian politicians admitted at the time that the country's 8.5 percent per year growth rate meant it could cope without the British money.

But the Mitchell is expected to announce Tuesday that aid levels will remain constant, angering members of his own Conservative Party, according to the paper.

"Some people in both the UK and India have been asking whether the time has come to end British aid to India," Mitchell told the business daily. "In my view we are not there yet."

Britain's Conservative-led coalition is under heavy fire at home after delivering deep cuts to the public sector in an attempt to reign in an 11.4% deficit.

© 2011 AFP

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