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Interest-Free Loans

Volume 720: debated on Thursday 18 November 1965

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asked the Minister of Overseas Development to which countries loans free of interest have now been made in accordance with her statement of 21st June.

Her Majesty's Government have agreed to make loans free of interest to nine overseas Governments as follows:—Afghanistan: £200,000 for the purchase of commercial vehicles and spare parts.Ceylon: £2 million, being part of loans totalling £3·57 million towards the international operation led by the World Bank.Ethiopia: £2 million towards development projects.India: £25 million, out of total aid of £30 million, for 1965–66 offered earlier this year at a meeting of the Aid-India Consortium (held under the aegis of the World Bank).Pakistan: £4 million for the purchase of goods from Britain.

In addition, the following loans, for which provision has already been made in the Estimates, but for which no agreement had been signed at the time of my statement of 21st June, will be made interest-free:

Gambia: £400,000 for development purposes.

Kenya: £3 million towards the cost of development projects in the year 1965–66.

Tanzania: £7·5 million towards the cost of development projects over a two year period.

Uganda: £6 million towards the cost of development projects over a two year period.

These loans will be repayable over periods of 20 years in the cases of Afghanistan and Ethiopia and 25 years in the remainder.

The cost of these loans will be borne on the Overseas Aid (Bilateral) Vote. Parliament will be asked in due course to approve a Supplementary Estimate in respect of the current financial year. Meanwhile, if necessary, advances will be obtained from the Civil Contingencies Fund.