India has dismissed news reports about a cut in development aid for Nepal, saying the actual fund flow to Nepal during 2014-15 was Rs 300 crore.
A statement issued by the Indian embassy on Friday said the “misrepresentation of figures undermines the quantum, scope and extent of the nature of socio-economic engagement between the two nations”.
“It may further be reiterated that there is no aid cut in the case of Nepal,” it said.
The allocation of foreign aid for Nepal and other neighbouring countries is based on expenditure levels of preceding years, and takes into account the “absorption capacity of our valued partners”, the statement added.
India’s reaction came after the news reports stated aid to Nepal had dwindled significantly in 2014-15 and was much less than that from Britain, the US, Japan, China and Switzerland - the top five donor countries.
The reports were based on a development cooperation report issued by Nepal’s finance ministry in March. The annual report said Indian aid had dropped from $47.7 million in 2013-14 to $22.2 million in 2014-15.
It named Britain ($168 million), the US ($132 million), Japan ($39.8 million), China ($38 million) and Switzerland ($32.4 million) as the top donors, followed by Norway ($30.8 million), Australia ($28 million) and India.
The World Bank ($188 million), Asian Development Bank ($148 million) and the UN ($44 million) were listed as the top three non-country donors.
Disputing these figures, India said the actual fund flow to Nepal through the external affairs ministry during 2014-15 was Rs 300 crore (more than $50 million).
Officials said there could be discrepancies as Indian aid to Nepal is routed “through many channels and in many forms”. A sizeable amount is provided to Nepal’s finance ministry but a lot is also given directly to beneficiaries.
India said, depending on expenditure levels and requirement, the “possibility of channeling more funds, if required, is always open”.