The government is streamlining the process of aid delivery and monitoring of aided projects abroad by setting up an agency, Indian Agency for Partnership in Development.
The agency, modelled on the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will handle aid and projects worth about R50,000 crore in the next five to seven years and help end the discretionary financial powers of individual officials.
Government sources said the ministry of external affairs had already got the nod from the prime minister’s office and the ministries of finance and home to go ahead with the new agency.
With the volume of India’s aid growing manifold, there have been complaints about the arbitrary fashion in which the projects are rushed through and officials misusing their powers.
“We want a single agency responsible for planning and execution of various projects the government funds abroad,” foreign minister SM Krishna told the Hindustan Times after the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers on Tuesday.
He said, “As the volume of our aid programme goes up, there should be safeguards against funds being misused.”
In the next three years, India will spend about $5 billion in credit in African countries.
In 2010-11 alone, the country extended a $3-billion new line of credit, including the highest ever one-time assistance of $1 billion to Bangladesh.
Altogether, there are 121 Indian operational lines of credits to 54 countries worth $6.43 billion as of June this year.
The agency will have a chief executive officer of the rank of an additional secretary belonging to the Indian Foreign Service.
The executive board of the agency will have the foreign secretary as its ex-officio chairman.