UK Development Secretary, Justine Greening, has announced that UK will stop its financial aid to India by 2015.
This was an expected move for some time now. UK’s austerity troubles and India’s growing economical standards had raised queries on justification of aid, time and again, in UK political and wider TV/newspaper/radio discussions for last few years.
How will this affect India? India will surely miss the additional financial aid, there is no doubt in that; but the termination of aid is not a serious blow to India’s current situation.
Let me be clear. This in no way means India’s poverty is eradicated or at least in control; India’s ruling politicians have miserably failed in achieving the same. In fact, they never showed any genuine interest to eliminate poverty. “Garibi Hatao” (eradicate poverty) was a nice election slogan from Indira Gandhi’s time, but yet it remains just that – only a slogan.
That said, decision from UK Government could well become a positive catalyst towards India’s efforts towards better managing its internal machinery and funds for poverty reduction in more cautious and wiser ways.
Not only that, India could now expect to be treated as equal partner by western countries while having face-to-face business and trade discussions, without feeling inferior for receiving financial aid from parties on other side of the table.