Aid to India justified anymore?
India, a country which spends £20 billion on its defence programmes and over £1 billion on a space programme while its population starves.
There isn’t really more I can say about this. Just the above justifies not giving them any aid, especially so when the UK at the moment is facing hard economic times along with the rest of Europe.
However, if a country can afford a space programme, a large military budget, that in my eyes is enough to stop the majority of aid to that country. In the end, that extra £1 billion being used by the Department for International Development Agency is being used inevertedly as it means India themselves don’t have to spend as much on helping their population. — Whether or not India considers the amount as “peanuts”.
People will say that the £1 billion in aid is to “bribe” and to buy favour in terms of relations with India and the UK, however in my opinion that isn’t the way to conduct bilateral trade. If a country has something which meets the requirements of another country, that country should buy products because it suites and works for them, not because that country is giving them aid.
What’s worse, is that you have India, a country which receives aid, is also giving aid to others. It doesn’t make sense. Stop the aid and if they want to trade with us, we shouldn’t be bribing them. Until we can focus on a clearer economic strategy which works (Within the EU as well) then there is no point pouring money down a drain where it’s needed elsewhere.
I have nothing against Indian people, but their government for not doing more to help their people. They have a thriving economy, yet they think it is more sensible to build up their military. Now of course, coming from a UK standpoint, we also had a thriving economy (Although receding a little, however expect a bounce-back once the ‘EU issue’ has cleared itself up) and we spend double the amount on our armed services.
However, this is what we don’t have:
- People starving
- People who cannot find education when needed
- People who do not have proper toiletry or actual toilet facilities
These 3 points alone could be the definition or reasoning behind giving aid to India, as they have these problems still prevalent in their society and it is a huge issue. However, the job now should be left to India to help its own people. That is not to say the Indian government aren’t helping its people now, but now they are in a more suitable position to help their population and have the resources to do so if they so wish. Others shouldn’t be doing it for them when they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves.
- The N.C. Saxena Committee report states that 50% of Indians live below the poverty line. (Source)
- India has more people in poverty than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. (Source)
- 42.5% of the children in India suffer from malnutrition. (Source)
- India has the highest amount of underweight children in the world. (Source)
- 58% of children under five surveyed were stunted. (Source)
This is not to say that the Indian government aren’t doing anything, however efforts to combat this, just don’t seem to parallel with their growth. Tackling poverty is a hard issue and isn’t simple cut, I’ll admit, but I can’t find it in me why any country would want to give aid to a country which its own government doesn’t put enough weight behind to tackle the enormous amount of poverty that exists there.
Now, I understand they have to spend money on other things in order to bring in trade, business etc, which they have done a fantastic job on. However, you sometimes wonder whether or not India is actually making an effort to bring people out of poverty when countries are still giving aid.
Right now, India’s economy is doing fantastically. Perhaps, it is time that aid be cut off and be directed towards other interests which actually help further development of other countries. Even an Indian MP has stated that the UK contribution is “peanuts”, so why should we be giving peanuts to a country, which already has a lot of peanuts! :p
Let’s give more to help the development of the countries in Africa if anything, they need the money more than India which has a booming economy and will take over the UK’s economy in years to come.