The Indian government has increased its annual grant to Sri Lanka in the Union Budget, the Times of India reported today.
The allocation has gone up to Rs 500 crore for 2013-2014 from Rs 290 crore last year. It was Rs 181.94 crore in 2011-2012. The Budget has allocated Rs 5,550 crore as aid for foreign governments and organizations.
Under the non-plan category, the Indian government has proposed to donate Rs 4,143 crore to various foreign governments and organizations, besides Rs 1,406 crore under the plan category to Afghanistan, Bhutan and Myanmar. But unlike 2012-13, when the government allocated Rs 550 crore to Bhutan and Maldives, in the budget for 2013-14, there is no loan component to any country and all the money is treated as grant alone.
Prof V Suryanarayana, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Asian Studies, said India has committed to help the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka in recent years. “Housing scheme and other development projects have been announced by the Indian government with the good intention of helping Tamils,” Suryanarayana told TOI. But most of the projects have been getting delayed due to ‘non-cooperative attitude’ of the Sri Lankan government, he said. “For instance, housing for internally displaced Tamils have been delayed due to non-allotment of land by the local government,” Suryanarayana said.
He also pointed to the speedy progress of Chinese projects in Sri Lanka. “The projects of the Chinese government are being completed quickly with the co-operation of the Sri Lankan government,” he said.