Budget 2019: India There also has been an increase in the contributions made to SAARC countries as well as members of BIMSTEC Secretariat.
Keeping in line with India’s Africa policy which has seen an increase in engagement with the African continent, allocation for various Development Projects through Ministry of External Affairs, the Interim Budget shows increased support with the allocation of Rs 400 crore this year. Last it was Rs 200 crore and before that, it was Rs 175 crore.
Two Indian Ocean countries – Mauritius and Seychelles, who have been receiving aid from New Delhi historically today got Rs 700 crore and Rs 75 crore respectively. Recently the Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth was on an 8-day visit and was the chief guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi.
This year Rs 5 crore has been announced as support to Mongolia.
There also has been an increase in the the contributions made to SAARC countries as well as members of BIMSTEC Secretariat.
According to Budget estimates for 2019-2020, Maldives got Rs 400 crore grants and Rs 175 crore loans from India making New Delhi’s contribution to the Indian Ocean country at Rs 575 crore. There is a five times hike in the sum that India contributed in 2017-2018 which was just Rs 109.24 crore.
In the case of Maldives, even the revised estimates for the financial year 2018-2019 saw a massive increase. In last year’s Budget, India had announced a contribution of Rs 125 crore, it was revised at Rs 440 crore.
During the recent visit of Maldives President Ibrahim Solih, India had announced an assistance of $1.4 billion to Male. It was Solih’s first foreign visit to any country after taking charge in November last year.
For Chabahar port, New Delhi’s key connectivity plan with Afghanistan and central Asia remained unchanged from the previous year at Rs 150 crore. For Afghanistan, where India is involved in a number of infrastructure projects, Rs 325 crore has been set aside. Last year also it was as much but in the revised estimates released on Friday, it increased to Rs 470 crore.
Bhutan, which is India’s close partner and gets substantial budgetary support, saw a grant of Rs 2,115 crore and a loan of Rs 500 crore. With Rs 2,615 crore, it is the maximum support India gives to any country. Nepal got Rs 700 crore, Myanmar got Rs 400 crore, and Bangladesh got Rs 175 crore & Sri Lanka Rs 150 crore.
The amount given for SAARC and BIMSTEC Secretariat stands same at Rs 8 crore, when BIMSTEC funds saw an increase from Rs 5 crore last year to Rs 8 crore this year.
The South Asian University and Nalanda International University receive funds from India – and today’s budget witnessed support worth Rs 380 crore and Rs 220 crore. For 2019-2020, India announced Rs 265 crore for United Nations, last year it was Rs 258 crore which revised estimates being increased at Rs 307 crore. This is excluding the contribution to its various bodies – like UNESCO and UNCTAD.