HYDERABAD: The Centre has been in the eye of a storm since it reportedly refused aid from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Gulf country, however, later clarified that it had never formally announced a grant of Rs 700 crore to flood-hit Kerala. The question here is, has India ever accepted foreign grants? The Ministry of External Affairs told the Lok Sabha that for the year 2007-2008 and 2015-16, India received foreign aid of Rs 2,575 crore.
The highest fund flow was Rs 3,384 crore for the year 2013-14, all with regard to health connected projects being executed in India. The aid received is pumped into projects such as immunisation programme, National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Reproductive and Child Health-II Programme, Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, National Leprosy Eradication Programme and HIV/AIDS Control Programmes, the ministry said.
The United Kingdom has been a regular donor followed by Germany, Asian Developments Bank, the United States and more. India too has been a generous donor and has helped build the health sector in African countries. Addressing the Lok Sabha, officials of the MEA said, “India is currently a net donor of foreign aid. In the last three years, India has provided more aid to foreign countries, than it has received.”
Going by the statistical data submitted to the lower house, the claim turned out to be true. India has helped its turbulent neighbour Bangladesh with Rs 155.68 crore in 2015 -16. In the same year, the country gave Rs 5,368.46 crore to Bhutan and Rs 880. 44 crore to Afghanistan. The aid is extended under the aegis of the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). It is mainly meant for housings schemes, infrastructure development, educational fellowships and more.