No reduction in India’s aid to Nepal

Kathmandu, May 13

India today said Indian grant assistance to Nepal this fiscal was the same as in the last fiscal.

“There is no aid cut in the case of Nepal,” Indian Embassy in Kathmandu stated, issuing a press release today. “Our initial allocations for foreign aid, including to Nepal and other neighbouring countries, are based on actual expenditure levels in the preceding years, and take into account absorption capacity of our valued partners.”

It also stated that the actual aid flow from India to Nepal during the last fiscal (2014-15) stood at Rs 4.8 billion (over $50 million).

The embassy stated that India’s aid was routed through many channels and was in many forms, including via Nepal’s finance ministry and given directly to the beneficiary.

Such assistance included granting of scholarships, creating medical infrastructure etc.

These remarks come at a time when media reports have claimed that China (US$ 37 million) overtook India (US$ 22 million) as official development assistance provider to Nepal.

Stating that India’s endeavour had always been to help in the development process in Nepal, the embassy warned that “any misrepresentation of figures undermines the quantum, scope and extent of the nature of socio-economic engagement between the two nations“.

Indian annual aid normally includes nearly 3,000 scholarships to Nepali students at a cost of Rs 80 crore, according to the statement. In addition to that the government of India spends approximately Rs 700 million per year on construction, maintenance and repair of embankments in Nepal.

Similarly, four Lines of Credit totalling $1.65 billion are available for utilisation, of which only $150 million have been disbursed since 2010.

Besides, pension totalling about Rs 28.8 billion is being paid to ex-Gorkha soldiers every year, it stated.

The embassy added that the cost of India’s rescue operation Operation Maitri which was launched after last year’s earthquake in Nepal, was almost Rs. 6.4 billion rupees.