UK to cease financial aid to India by 2015

  • The UK is to ceasing giving financial aid to India by 2015, British International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced on Friday.

    Support worth some $319 million will be phased out between now and 2015 with the UK's focus to shift towards offering technical assistance.

    Greening said the move was a reflection of India's economic progress and status.

    Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid reacted by saying: "Aid is the past and trade is the future."

    India has received an average of $361 million a year in direct financial support over the past three years.

    The UK's support has been a cause of concern within the ruling Conservative party, with many MPs taking the stance that the UK should not be providing assistance to country with a multi-million dollar space program.

    India is also now the third largest investor in the UK and the largest market for British goods outside the EU.

    However, charities have labeled the move as premature, warning it will be the poorest who will bear the brunt of the decision.