10 Nov 2012

Britain to scrap financial aid to India

12:21 pm on 10 November 2012

The British government has announced it will stop financial aid to India by 2015 because the country is developing fast.

The focus will shift to offering technical assistance, which UK development secretary Justine Greening said reflected India's economic progress and status.

Until last year, when it was overtaken by Ethiopia, India was the biggest recipient of bilateral aid from Britain, the BBC reports.

The country's support for India, one of the world's fastest-growing economies, has been a cause of concern among Conservative MPs, many of whom believed that the UK should not be giving money to a country which has a multi-million pound space programme.

Ministers have defended the level of financial help in the past on the basis of the extreme poverty that remains in rural areas and historical colonial ties between the two countries.

Charities described the move as premature and warned it would be the poorest who suffered.