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India sets aside over Rs 7,100 cr as development assistance for neighbours, other countries

The Budget has allocated amounts for African, Eurasian countries and also Latin American nations, apart from development assistance to neighbouring countries.

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New Delhi: India on Monday set aside over Rs 7,100 crore in its budget for 2021-22 as development assistance for countries in its neighbourhood as well as in Africa and Latin America, with Bhutan getting the maximum allocation of Rs 3,004 crore while Rs 100 crore will be given to Chabahar port project in Iran.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated Rs 18,154 crore to the Ministry of External Affairs in the union budget, out of which Rs 7,148 crore has been earmarked as aid to countries.

As per the revised estimates, India’s development assistance in 2020-21 was Rs 5,369 crore.

According to the budget documents, Bhutan will get a total of Rs 3,004 crore compared to the revised estimate of Rs 2,261 crore in 2020-21.

The development assistance to Nepal has been increased to Rs 992 crore from last year’s Rs 880 crore while the amount for Afghanistan has been pegged at Rs 350 crore and Myanmar at Rs 400 crore.

Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will get Rs 200 crore each, while an amount of Rs 250 crore has been set aside for the Maldives.

An amount of Rs 300 crore has been allocated for African countries, Rs 100 crore for Eurasian countries and an outlay of Rs 40 crore was marked for Latin American nations.

Separately, Rs 130 crore has been allocated for assistance to other developing countries.

In the budget, Sitharaman also made an allocation of Rs 100 crore for the development of the Chabahar port. The amount is the same as was allocated in 2020-21.

Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran’s southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost trade ties.

India on Sunday formally handed over two 140-tonne mobile harbour cranes to the authorities of the Chabahar port in Iran and both sides reviewed their overall cooperation in developing the transit hub.

According to the budget documents, additionally, an amount of Rs 476 crore has been set aside for ‘support to international training/programmes’.

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