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A Global Shift in Foreign Aid, Starting in India

Discussion in 'World Economy' started by santosh, Mar 25, 2014.

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  1. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    @Averageamerican
    @varchasva

    as per the above news of post#30, Indian government had around IRN 5,500 crore (around $950million, closed to $1.0billion) Foreign Aid for different countries, as part of 2013-14 Annual Budget of India. while the news of post#6 confirms thats India's foreign assistance for other countries for 2013-14 at around $1.30billion+ :coffee:
     
  2. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    India offers $100 million to help Sri Lanka refugees

    (Reuters) - India offered Sri Lanka on Sunday $100 million to help war refugees return home and rebuild the country's ravaged north, as New Delhi seeks to engage in the island nation's post-war reconstruction and retain influence.

    Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said India was willing to provide the aid package to Sri Lanka if it submitted a "plan of action" on rehabilitation of Tamil civilians.

    "Our concern is that the displaced Tamils should be resettled in their homes as early as possible," the minister told reporters in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

    A similar aid package was given by New Delhi to its southern neighbor in July after the Sri Lankan government announced victory in a 25-year war against Tamil Tiger separatists.

    The Indian government faces pressure to protect Sri Lankan Tamils, closely linked to about 60 million Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

    Some 260,000 Tamil refugees who fled fighting in the waning months of the war are now being held in military-run camps. Western countries, India and the United Nations are pressing the government to send them home.

    Though the rehabilitation process was slow in the beginning, it was likely to pick up, Chidambaram said after a meeting with Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi.

    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said 70-80 percent of the refugees will be resettled by January. So far, about 15,000 have been sent home.

    India, which once wielded undisputed leverage over the Sri Lankan conflict, maintained a largely hands-off approach over the last two years because of the concerns of Tamils at home.

    New Delhi is now keen to ensure that it retains influence in the island and keeps rivals China and Pakistan at arm's length.

    While New Delhi could not be seen openly arming the Sri Lankan military to fight the Tamil Tigers, China and Pakistan had no such difficulty and are known to have helped the Sri Lankan army build up its offensive capabilities.

    China is also helping Sri Lanka build the Hambantota port, which many see as part of Beijing's "String of Pearls" strategy of building relations with countries along sea lanes from the Middle East to the South China Sea.

    India offers $100 million to help Sri Lanka refugees | Reuters
     
  3. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    India gifts embassy to Palestine, pledge $20 million aid

    New Delhi, Oct 7 (IANS) In a gesture reaffirming unwavering commitment to the Palestinian cause, India Tuesday announced an assistance of $20 million to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and gifted it a new embassy that is being built in the heart of the capital’s diplomatic enclave. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks with PNA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is on a four-day state visit to India, on a wide range of subjects, including the peace process in West Asia.

    The two leaders laid the foundation stone of the chancery-cum-residence complex of the embassy of Palestine and formally dedicated the building “to the people of Palestine as a gift from the people of India”.

    “I reiterated to President Abbas India’s consistent support to a negotiated solution to the Palestine issue,” Manmohan Singh said at a function organized at the ground of the the proposed chancery-cum-residence complex at Chanakyapuri area.

    “India believes that the solution should be based on the relevant United Nations resolution, the Arab Peace Plan and the chartered roadmap resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine living in a secure border, side by side with Israel,” stressed Manmohan Singh.

    He also announced a grant of $10 million as budgetary support to the PNA to help meet its immediate requirements and another $10 million dollars as assistance for development projects. :tup:

    An agreement on the construction of a school in the name of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Abu Dees in Palestine was also signed between the two sides.

    Thanking India for its consistent support to the Palestinian cause, Abbas said: “I would like to be very frank and say that India has given help and assistance to Palestine without asking for any favour in return.

    “India is playing an important role in all fields (concerning Palestine), including the peace process… We appreciate India’s support,” Abbas said.

    A Palestinian spokesman said: “The two leaders discussed a range of issues including chalking a roadmap for future cooperation and developmental works in Palestine.”

    Abbas’ visit comes at a time when the West Asia peace process is under strain even as India is increasingly seen as a credible interlocutor by Palestine and Israel due to its excellent relations with both sides.

    However, a cautious India, which was among the first countries to recognize the declaration of the state of Palestine in 1988, has refrained from getting directly involved so far.

    With some political opponents accusing the Manmohan Singh government of betraying the Palestinian cause, New Delhi has designated Abbas’ trip as “state visit” to underline its special ties with the Palestinian people.

    PNA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki and other senior officials are accompanying Abbas on this state visit to India.

    Abbas also met President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani.

    The visit is seen as a balancing exercise by New Delhi in view of its rapid expansion of diplomatic, military and trade ties with Tel Aviv since it recognized Israel in 1992. Israel is now the second largest arms supplier to India after Russia.

    India gifts embassy to Palestine, pledge $20 million aid - Thaindian News
     
  4. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    India announces $ 500 mn aid for poor nations

    New Delhi: Underlining its commitment to South-South cooperation, India on Friday announced another $500 million aid for a host of projects in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and offered to share its developmental experience with them.

    "Today, as the world's largest democracy, which supports fundamental human rights and human freedoms, we are proud of the progress we have been able to register to meet the economic aspirations of our people," External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said while inaugurating the two-day ministerial conference of LDCs.

    "We stand ready to share our experience with our friends and brethren in the Least Developed Countries," he said.

    Krishna announced a raft of additional contributions for LDCs, including another five scholarships every year under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme for each LDC and a special fund of $5 million over the next five years for the follow up to UN LDC Four to be held in Istanbul in May.

    Krishna announced a $500 million credit line over the next five years to be used specifically for projects and programmes of LDCs.

    "South-South cooperation, the theme of this conference, and one of the cornerstones of Indian foreign policy, is one such innovative solution that has the potential to deliver real and tangible benefits to the Least Developed Countries and effectively supplement and complement existing international efforts," Krishna said. He, however, stressed that South-South cooperation is not a substitute for North-South cooperation.

    Around 35 foreign ministers and 40 Permanent Representatives to the UN from the LDCs are participating in the conference. The ministers called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday morning.

    The conference, which will act as a precursor to the fourth conference on LDCs in Istanbul May 9-13, is expected to come out with a Delhi Declaration outlining ambitious plans for spurring development of these countries.

    India enjoys a multi-dimensional relationship with LDCs and has been in the forefront of assisting their development through generous lines of credit and other forms of assistance. Over the decades, the foreign direct investment from India to LDC countries has increased dramatically, and is estimated to be around $35 billion. :india:

    India has provided 4.3 billion lines of credit to LDCs over the years. :tup:

    India announces $ 500 mn aid for poor nations - World - IBNLive
     
  5. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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  6. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    India sets up $15 billion global aid agency :india:
    July 2, 2012

    Not long after grumblers in the UK asked their own government why it was giving money to India, if it was giving its own money away, India unveiled a global aid agency on the order of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) or the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

    Called the Development Partnership Administration (DPA), the agency is designed to streamline and make more transparent India's growing foreign aid program, which has expanded from almost nothing a decade ago to a sizable outlay targeting more than 60 developing countries.

    The DPA will have around $15 billion to spend over the next five years, India's Sunday Guardian newspaper reported. It will be headed by Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) additional secretary P.S. Raghavan and will bring under one umbrella all agencies involved with foreign aid and development projects within the foreign ministry, the paper said.

    "We do not like to call ourselves a donor," the Sunday Guardian quoted Syed Akbaruddin, joint secretary with the Ministry of External Affairs, as saying. "We call it development partnership because it is in the framework of sharing development experiences. It follows a model different from that followed in the conventional North-South economic cooperation patterns, hence the designation of Development Partnership Administration, it is administering our development partnership projects."
    :tup: :india:

    So far, India's foreign aid program has made major donations to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Afghanistan, signaling that along with helping its neighbors New Delhi (like Washington and Beijing) views economic aid as an important foreign policy tool.

    Too bad the bean counters still complain that there's not enough in the coffers to feed everybody in India.

    India sets up $15 billion global aid agency | GlobalPost
     
  7. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    22,000 new scholarships for African students in various academic courses:india:

    New Delhi, Mar 1 (ANI): Highlighting India's commitment to development in Africa, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said here on Thursday that 22,000 new scholarships for African students in various academic courses and training programmes, including special agriculture scholarships and C.V. Raman fellowships have been made available. :tup:

    Kaur, who was addressing the inaugural session of India-Africa Science and Technology Ministerial Conference, said proposals for the institutional strengthening of identified institutions in Africa and the transfer of need based technologies have also been initiated.

    "There is a provision for 22,000 new scholarships for African students in various academic courses and training programmes including special agriculture scholarships and C.V. Raman fellowships," said Kaur.

    "As per India's commitment to assist African countries in the field of Science and Technology, proposals for institutional strengthening of identified institutions in Africa and transfer of need based technologies have also been initiated," she added.

    She informed that her ministry has duly secured approvals from the Union Cabinet to support these initiatives through its "Aid to Africa" budget.

    Kaur also said that India has successfully implemented the Pan-African e-Network Project, including tele-education, tele-medicine and connectivity between leaders in 47 African countries and an agreement has also been signed for its implementation in the 48th country, South Sudan recently.

    Under the framework of the Science and Technology Initiatives for Africa, Department of Science and Technology in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs organised the 'India-Africa Science and Technology Ministers Conference'.

    This major ministerial level event has being organised in close coordination with the African Union Commission and is being attended by science and technology ministers from across the African continent along with senior official from various countries. he event is expected to provide a platform for the advocacy, outreach and commitment of India under the framework of the New Science and Technology Cooperation Initiative with Africa.

    The ministerial conference also intends to help to develop linkages and also secure the interests and commitments of the African partners to this Indian initiative. (ANI)

    22,000 new scholarships for African students in various academic courses: Preneet Kaur
     
  8. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Can India ‘Fix’ Afghanistan? - NY Times
    June 7, 2012

    As the United States winds down its military engagement in Afghanistan, optimism is growing about the role India can play to stabilize and develop the country.

    This week, visiting United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta encouraged Indian leaders to take a more active role in Afghanistan, involvement once considered by the United States as merely an opportunistic way for India to antagonize Pakistan.

    The United States’ encouragement is hardly needed. India plans to “intensify” its already “high level political engagement and broad-based development assistance in a wide range of sectors,” India’s minister for external affairs, S.M. Krishna, told Afghanistan’s visiting foreign minister, Zalmai Rassoul, in a speech in New Delhi last month. With assistance from Europe and the United States expected to drop substantially, India may be left as one of Afghanistan’s most prominent aid partners.

    Here on India Ink, we have been asking: Does this make any sense? On first glance, at least, India seems an unlikely provider of development assistance because of the serious issues troubling it at home. Many of the same things that Afghanistan needs, from infrastructure to education, India is having troubles providing for many citizens, even without the regular threat of attacks from the Taliban.

    India’s state-run power industry struggles to get enough fuel thanks to mismanagement and bureaucracy, even its brightest youth can’t land a spot at a good university and about third of its citizens live in destitute poverty, with hundreds of millions malnourished. The current central government is grappling with a growing deficit, shrinking economic growth and an increasingly dissatisfied voter base.

    It’s no surprise that India’s Afghanistan plans have been greeted with some skepticis
    m.

    “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” said Rajeev Malik, an economist at CLSA, a research and brokerage house, who has been a sharp critic of India’s fiscal policy and government. “India has not managed to fix these issues itself,” he said, but added that the country “probably has more experience than Afghanistan.”

    India’s on-the-ground aid record, though limited, has been decent.

    India has committed some $2 billion in aid to Afghanistan, of which $1 billion has been spent, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. Indian public and private companies have built a highway to Iran, put up transmission lines to bring power to Kabul, are constructing a new Parliament building and working on a hydro-electric project in western Afghanistan.

    India sent one million tons of high-protein biscuits to Afghanistan, and plans to follow that with an additional 250,000 tons this year. There are 1,000 Afghan students on scholarships in Indian universities right now.

    More ambitious plans are in place. In October of last year, when Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, visited India, the two countries signed a strategic agreement that said India would train and equip Afghan security forces. This month, India is holding meetings for regional investors interested in Afghanistan in New Delhi.

    Invitees include Turkey, China and Pakistan. Over a dinner in May in New Delhi, Mr. Rassoul told Indian government advisers Afghanistan would like India to concentrate on building up governance, law courts and health care.

    “We don’t want a fundamentalist Afghanistan, just like everyone else,” explained Syed Akbaruddin, spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, in a recent interview. “We don’t want an Afghanistan that slides backward.”

    The two countries share ties cemented long ago, he said, citing the well-known Rabindranath Tagore story “Kabuliwala,” about an Afghan fruit seller who befriends an Indian girl. India has a limited physical presence on the ground in Afghanistan, he said, which should quell concerns that India is focused on containing or antagonizing Pakistan. “What do we have in Afghanistan that is a threat to Pakistan?,” he asked rhetorically.

    India’s aid to Afghanistan comes without any conditions, unlike aid to India from foreign countries in the past, he said. India is not pressuring the Afghanistan government to improve, say, education for girls, or rights for women, but is focusing on infrastructure and other concrete projects, he said. :india:

    India’s projects in Afghanistan are “replicas of what India has been able to successfully implement in some part of India or the other,” said Mr. Akbaruddin. “They have been incubated in some part of India.”

    Staunch supporters of India’s involvement say sheer practicality of the alliance makes it work.

    “Today the average Afghan knows that for many of the things that would lead to an improved quality of life, India offers the most viable option,” said C. Uday Bhaskar, a security analyst based in New Delhi.

    To explain, he offered an example: The quality of higher education in Britain or the United States or Australia might be better than in India, he said, but most Afghans can’t afford Western universities, and if even they could, they probably wouldn’t get a visa to go anyway.

    Much of what is on Afghanistan’s “wish list” can be “enabled in a considerable degree by India,” Mr. Bhaskar said. President Karzai himself attended an Indian university, doing his postgraduate studies at Himachal Pradesh University, in Shimla.

    Others note that the “aid” relationship is not new. “People forget this has been going on quietly for a long time,” said K. Shankar Bajpai, a former ambassador to China, Pakistan and the United States, who is now an analyst with Delhi Policy Group. For six decades, India was “very much engaged” in Afghanistan, working on everything from building tunnels through the mountains of the Hindu Kush to education and health programs.

    Recently, the two countries have built up a “friendly relationship without some of the imperial hang-ups that spoiled Delhi and Kabul’s relationship in the past,” he said. In a sign of this friendliness, in March, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Mr. Karzai to congratulate him on the birth of his daughter.

    Another factor to consider is that while India’s development problems weigh heavily on the country’s poor and middle class, facilities for the wealthy in India are often world class. Many of Afghanistan’s wealthy are already beneficiaries, and these upper-class industries and ties are only expected to grow.

    Take health care: India’s private hospitals, and especially those in New Delhi, serve as de facto doctors’ offices for wealthy Afghans, who are just a two-hour flight away. Hospitals like Max Healthcare’s giant facility in Saket have special facilitators for Afghan patients who come for everything from in vitro fertilization treatments to heart trouble, doctors say. Often, their Afghan patients pay in crisp United States dollar bills.

    On the other end of the economic spectrum, at least one Indian charity has also been successful in Afghanistan.

    The Self Employed Women’s Association(SEWA), which starts women’s self-help groups, has been running vocational training programs in Afghanistan since 2008, teaching women to make jam and sew clothing, among other skills. The group said it has trained 3,000 Afghan women so far, despite two fatal terrorist attacks on the team in Kabul. The women, who are often orphans or widows, use the training to earn an income outside their home.

    Whether the ambitious plans in industries like mining and manufacturing will work out remains to be seen. In November, a consortium of public and private Indian companies, led by the state-owned Steel Authority of India, won a bid to mine in three states in Afghanistan, which includes the construction of a six million-ton steel plant, an 800-megawatt power plant and 200 kilometers each of road, rail and transmission lines – as well as a pledge to set aside one percent of profits for establishing educational and medical facilities.

    “We are very bullish about this,” the chairman of SAIL said when the deal was announced. Total investment by the Indian companies is pegged at $10.8 billion. :tup:

    The big numbers, heavy-duty infrastructure plans and optimistic outlook are a stark contrast to SAIL’s India performance. In February, SAIL said quarterly profits fell by more than 40 percent from the same period the year before, thanks in part to higher raw material costs and SAIL’s inability to get coal from another state-owned company.

    Can India 'Fix' Afghanistan? - NYTimes.com
     
  9. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Foreign cos pulling more money out of India

    May 25 (Reuters) - Foreign direct investment, the sort of sticky long-term money India craves to fund its current account deficit and build up its infrastructure, may not be so stable after all.

    According to a Nomura report, multinational companies have been pulling money out of India at an accelerating rate, moving $10.7 billion out of the country in 2011, up from $7.2 billion in 2010 and just $3.1 billion in 2009. :coffee:

    Outward flows are bad news for a country that this week saw its rupee currency hit a new record low as investors worry about its hefty fiscal and current account shortfalls, slowing economic growth and policy gridlock.

    Still, corporate funds continue to enter India even as existing investors exit. Inbound foreign direct investment surged 88 percent to a record $36.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March, according to official data.

    "Global deleveraging may have forced companies to sell their Indian assets and repatriate funds to their home country," Nomura analysts wrote in the Friday note.

    "At the same time, domestic push factors such as slowing potential growth, the high cost of doing business and regulatory uncertainty have weakened the investment climate, likely causing this erosion. This is not a good sign."

    Telecoms companies Etisalat of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain Telecommunications Co are leaving India after their mobile phone licences were among those ordered cancelled by an Indian court amid a corruption probe.

    New York Life recently exited its 26 percent stake in an Indian insurance venture with Max India for $530 million, while U.S. mutual fund giant Fidelity Worldwide Investment recently struck a deal to unload its India unit to local company L&T Finance Holdings.

    Foreign companies have been increasingly frustrated by regulatory uncertainty and a lack of reforms. Rules that would allow foreign companies into the supermarket and airline industries are stalled.

    Vodafone, the world's biggest mobile carrier, has repeatedly clashed with authorities in India, which is trying to collect more than $2 billion in taxes from it through a retroactive law change, even after India's highest court ruled in the company's favour.

    Vodafone, the biggest overseas corporate investor in India, has said it will not walk away.

    The Nomura report said the services, manufacturing and real estate sectors probably saw "the maximum outflow".

    Foreign cos pulling more money out of India-Nomura| Reuters
     
  10. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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  11. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    No conditionalities attached to Indian aid to other nations: Foreign Secy
    Apr 15 2013

    Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai today said India's assistance to foreign countries was demand-driven and had no "conditionalities" attached to it.

    Mr Mathai said over the last years, India had considerably expanded its development cooperation portfolio through grant assistance to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka for projects in infrastructure, hydroelectricity, power transmission, and other sectors identified by the host government as priority areas for their development. :tup:

    Moreover, over the last decade or so, over 150 Lines of Credit totalling over 9.5 billion dollars had been allocated, financing a wide range of projects from drinking water schemes to power plants to technology parks and railway infrastructure in developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. :tup:


    " Our engagement is demand-driven and responds to the developmental priorities of our partner countries. We do not attach conditionalities, we do not prescribe policies and we do not challenge national sovereignty," he emphasised deliverisng the keynote address by Foreign Secretary at 'Conference of Southern Providers- South-South Cooperation: Issues and Emerging Challenges'.

    The Foreign Secretary sought to point out that South-South cooperation was on an entirely different footing from North-South cooperation in inspiration, implementation and impact.

    There was an acknowledged historical context to Official Development Assistance (ODA), which distinguishes North-South Cooperation from South-South Cooperation.

    The focus on South-South cooperation in the prevailing international discourse on aid architecture increasingly glosses over this fact as it conveniently overlooked the reality that developing countries even the so called emerging economies continue to confront major economic challenges of their own, exacerbated by the current global economic situation, which place an inherent limitation on their capacity to contribute to international development cooperation. :tup:

    The assistance which developing countries offer to other developing countries should therefore continue to remain voluntary and free from externally imposed norms drawn from North-South Cooperation, he stressed.

    "Simply put, whereas North-South cooperation is a historic responsibility, South-South cooperation is a voluntary partnership. The fact that the traditional donor community often underplays this distinction does not diminish its validity," he said.

    "In the present global realities, it is self-evident that while South-South Cooperation supplements North-South Cooperation, it is not yet in a position to replace it in any significant measure. The North-South engagement leads the aid process and should continue to do so," he added.

    No conditionalities attached to Indian aid to other nations: Foreign Secy
     
  12. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Emerging Aid Donors: India

    India’s experience as a long-standing recipient of aid from developed countries is well known and well documented, but far less so its own role as a provider of development assistance to other countries. In the last decade, India has quietly become a significant donor of aid to other less developed countries, and current trends suggest that it could become a net exporter of aid in the next few years. This transformation is being driven by a combination of factors, including India’s self-conscious role as an emerging power, its competition with China for political influence and energy resources, and the rapid growth of its economy, including both its non-profit and private sectors. :thumb:

    Around the mid-1980s, India was the world’s largest recipient of multilateral aid and among the top recipients of bilateral aid. However, Indian economic reforms that began in the early 1990s have almost doubled the country’s long-term annual GDP growth, consequent to which foreign aid has become far less central to India’s overall economic development. In fact, the level of both multilateral and bilateral support has dropped sharply in the last decade, and it is currently less than US $ 2 billion annually, which is just about 0.2 percent of India’s GDP.

    In contrast, India’s own overseas development assistance (ODA) program, which officially began in 1964 when a separate budget heading for foreign aid was first created, has grown rapidly in recent years (table below), registering a compound annual growth rate of 6.9% from 2004 to 2010. In fact, India’s accumulated aid over the last 3 decades currently stands at over US $2.5 billion – for a poor country that represents a significant financial outreach.

    Table 1. India's foreign aid-related budget, 2004-10 (INR million)

    The bulk of India’s overseas assistance is directed at neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Afghanistan and Nepal, while a significant and increasing share is directed to African nations. Approximately 60 percent of Indian ODA is spent on training of civil servants, engineers and public-sector managers of recipient nations; about 30 percent is spent on providing soft loans to foreign governments to enable them to purchase Indian equipment or services, such as trucks, ground-water pumps, medicines, public health infrastructure or railway equipment; and the remainder 10 percent is spent on project-related costs abroad, such as feasibility studies or technical expertise from India on government-run institutions such as hospitals, railway services and universities. In general, India gives very little aid as outright cash grants. :tup:

    Training and education are done under ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme), a department within the MEA, with Indian diplomatic missions abroad acting as major contact points. Soft lines of credit are usually channeled and managed by the EXIM Bank of India, a public sector bank which works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Finance.

    The single-most defining characteristic of India’s overseas aid program is that it attempts to share India’s own experience in poverty alleviation and development through an active pipeline of consultants and experts. The bulk of Indian aid is spent on human training, capacity building and other “soft” investments in recipient nations, though it also supports a number of physical projects through financial or technical assistance. :thumb:

    Of course, India's economic diplomacy has just barely begun and is way behind China’s in hard numbers, and in fact Chinese ODA is estimated to be about ten times larger than India’s. However India has a vast array of IT and other knowledge-based skills, English language skills, human capital, institutions and legacies that constitute tremendous potential for providing technical assistance to others, all at relatively low cost. In addition, India has a long tradition of democracy that may be relevant for governance reform in many poorer countries.

    Overall, there are many reasons to believe that India is moving to become a major player in the development assistance world. At the outset, there is the simple geopolitics of aid and India’s quest for regional power status, even membership as a permanent member in a restructured UN Security Council. India’s growing middle class and a confident entrepreneurial class have created a huge appetite for energy sources and simultaneously allowed the country to parley its economic footprint abroad. And of course, India has also found a strategic opening for itself after the collapse of the Soviet Union which disrupted the steady source of economic assistance to many poor countries of Africa and Asia. All these broad trends have coalesced to propel India into the donor category. :india:

    However, despite its expanding foray in ODA, India’s attempts have been filled with many inconsistencies and even incoherence. There is still no single ODA agency in India’s vast bureaucratic empire, though successive governments have contemplated creating a dedicated aid agency. There is a belated recognition in India’s foreign policy establishment that if Indian ODA is to achieve its unstated but evident aim of helping India become an influential regional player, its development assistance effort will need more money, better focus, sharper delivery and a more professional administration.

    Emerging Aid Donors: India - NORRAG
     
  13. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Amid slowdown, India ramps up aid for neighbours
    Mar 18, 2012

    NEW DELHI: A difficult economic situation notwithstanding, India will be stepping up its assistance programme to its neighbouring countries in the coming fiscal.

    The biggest chunk of India's assistance programme is reserved for Afghanistan, Myanmar and Bhutan that are provided for in the 12th five-year Plan. But under the non-plan head, Bhutan takes the largest chunk with a combined loan-grant amount of Rs 1,500 crore. Bhutan has traditionally been the largest recipient of Indian aid, with massive hydro-electric projects being covered in the Plan expenditure. :tup:

    Afghanistan and Myanmar are big recipients, both strategically vital for India's security and economic interests. India has invested heavily in infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, including roads, parliament buildings and capacity building for the Afghans in various fields. India also runs the biggest children's hospital in Kabul. :tup:

    However, recently, India won the Hajigak iron ore mines that will necessitate building several roads connecting the mines to border points. A new component of India's aid package to Afghanistan is in the security sector. As a result of the strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan last year, India is committed to training and equipping Afghan national security forces. This will include training programmes, to be mainly held in India.

    New Delhi is building a multi-modal transport system in Myanmar that could also serve to improve trade with the country that India now regards as the gateway to south-east Asia. :cheers:

    Other countries that will continue to receive Indian aid this fiscal is Sri Lanka, where India has invested in rehabilitation and rebuilding programmes in the north, railway lines and oil terminals as well as building houses for the internally displaced persons from the Tamil regions. Bangladesh also takes a sizeable chunk of Rs 250 crore after the PM announced a $1-billion credit line for the country in 2010. :coffee:

    Bafflingly, the government spends a minuscule amount for "energy security" in the MEA, but it's so small that it's unclear what this would be used for. Equally strangely, Mongolia gets Rs 2 crore this year from India, but the reason for that remains unclear.

    Amid slowdown, India ramps up aid for neighbours - Times Of India
     
  14. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    India Gives Financial Aid to War-Ravaged SL Businesses
    -APR 11, 2013

    India today extended financial grants to businesses in northern Sri Lanka, ravaged by the nearly three-decade-long civil war, to promote economic development and prosperity in the country.

    Additional Secretary of the Indian External Affairs Ministry P S Raghavan visited the former stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Kilinochchi to award grants to some 1,233 small and medium scale businesses.
    :thumb:

    "The government of India will be with you in your economic development and prosperity", Raghavan, part of a team of officials here with a 5-member Indian parliamentary delegation, told the gathering.

    The 1,233 businesspersons received cash grants ranging between Sri Lankan rupees 50,000-200,000 based on the scale of devastation suffered by them due to military clashes between the government troops and the LTTE.

    Revathi Robert, whose medicine retail store was destroyed in the war, said although her loss was quite large, she could now rebuild her business with the Indian grant assistance.

    India and Sri Lanka have also agreed to resume the ferry service between Rameshwaram and Talaimannar in north Sri Lanka within the next two months, Raghavan said.

    The service was suspended in 2012.

    Raghavan said that building of two railway tracks to link Talaimannar with Pallai in Jaffna and the building of 50,000 homes are two key Indian assistance-funded projects in the north.

    India will also fund the commissioning of a factory to process palmyra-related products.

    India Gives Financial Aid to War-Ravaged SL Businesses | news.outlookindia.com
     
  15. santosh

    santosh Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Finance ministry verifying outward remittances made in 2011-12 fiscal
    Jun 14, 2013

    NEW DELHI: The finance ministry is verifying outward remittances worth Rs 3.56 lakh crore ($70billion+) from India during 2011-12 as a major portion was not subject to tax deduction at source, an official said on Friday. (exchange rate in 2011, US$1.0 = Rs 50.)

    "The finance ministry is currently engaged in verifying the remittances made abroad from India as over 70 per cent of remittances going out of India during the financial year 2011-12 were without any tax deduction whatsoever,:toilet:" director income tax (International Tax), MS Ray said at an Assocham event today.

    For 2011-12, there were 7,56,741 foreign remittances made from India with money worth Rs 3,56,461 crore going out of India, he added.

    Ray said: "...out of this, tax deduction at source (TDS) made was Rs 12,676 crore representing just three per cent of the total remittances going out of India."

    He said that the income tax department is making efforts to verify the remittances and organising seminars and campaigns to spread awareness about consequences of withholding taxes in smaller towns.

    These efforts are paying rich dividends, he added. Ray said that awareness about TDS, mainly in smaller towns and cities is not up to the desired levels. This is especially seen in places such as Ludhiana with large population of non-resident Indians, he added.

    "The NRI population in these places is selling properties but while remitting the sale proceeds, people are not aware that TDS has to be made," he added.

    Speaking about characterisation of income through royalty and fees of technical services, he said this is a major area of litigation and needs a coherent approach and understanding from both tax authorities and tax payers.

    Ray added that the department is providing various mechanisms for greater certainty in taxation and reduction in litigation.

    Finance ministry verifying outward remittances made in 2011-12 fiscal - Times Of India
     
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