In my response to the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) during oral questions on 30 June 2009, Official Report, column159, I said:
“In respect of India, he will know that British aid now amounts to about £240 million over this spending review period, but it is on a declining trend, and by 2011 will have stopped, not because of the Indian nuclear programme but because India is becoming a richer country. It is clear from international development legislation since 1997 that development aid should be directed according to poverty, and that is the basis on which India is pulling itself away from aid, according to its own wealth-generating potential”.
It has been brought to my attention that the information I gave in my response was incorrect. We have no plans to scale down the provision of aid to India, nor to stop the provision of aid by 2011. Our aid expenditure under current spending plans amounts to £285 million in 2008-09, £275 million in 2009-10, and £280 million in 2010-11. These figures reflect India’s continuing levels of poverty, with over 450 million Indians living on less than $1.25 a day, but also its own achievements in generating wealth.