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Correction to Commons Oral Question

Volume 712: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In my response to the right honourable Member for Wells (David Heathcoat-Amory) during Oral Questions on 30 June 2009, I said (Official Report col. 159):

“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 or 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.