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EUR470 Million Aid Package For India Proposed

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

20 February 2007


During her visit to India, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero Waldner announced that the European Commission is proposing substantial financial assistance to India over the next seven years.

An amount of EUR470 million should be available 2007-2013 to support the implementation of the Joint Action Plan, notably economic co-operation and sectoral dialogues, as well as to help India achieve its Millennium Development Goals in the Health and Education sectors.

This represents a substantial increase compared to funding provided by the EU in the past.

Speaking during her stay in Delhi, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner announced that:

"India is forging ahead. The EU wants to play its part in the emergence of India as a more prosperous nation, playing its role on the international stage on the key issues of our day. We are designing our package to match India's own priorities - economic reforms and progress in health and education – to cement still further the partnership that we are building together."

The new Country Strategy Paper for India 2007-2013 (which estimates aid at a yearly average of EUR67 million, amounting to EUR470 million in total) proposes to focus EU co-operation on the following priorities:

  • Mobilising EU funds to support the implementation of the Joint Action Plan, notably economic cooperation and sectoral dialogues – on issues ranging from tackling energy co-operation climate change and other environmental concerns to promoting dialogue on employment and social affairs - in order to help India address the most recent challenges of its economic reform process; and
  • Supporting India in achieving its Millennium Development Goals in the Health and Education sectors, as for example promotion of public administration reforms, decentralisation and community empowerment, deepening school enrolment, enhanced quality education and training of teachers.

The Commissioner spent from 16 to 20 February travelling to Delhi, Rajasthan and Mumbai, meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Trade Minister Kamal Nath.


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