India has cut the overall allocation for aid to foreign countries from Rs 6, 005 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 5, 848 crore in the forthcoming fiscal of 2023-24, a reduction of 2.6 per cent in the union budget for 2023-2024, which was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.
Some of the countries whose allocation has been reduced under this head include Bhutan, Afghanistan and Mauritius.
At the same time, budget allocation for Bangladesh, Nepal, crisis-hit Sri Lanka, Mongolia and that of Eurasian, African and Latin American countries, have been hiked.
Allocation for Bhutan has been reduced from Rs 2, 500 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 2, 400 crore in 2023-24, for Afghanistan it has been reduced from Rs 350 crore to Rs 200 crore and for Mauritius it has been cut from Rs 575 crore to Rs 460 crore.
However, the government has increased the allocation for Bangladesh from Rs 170 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 200 crore in 2023-24, for Nepal from Rs 425 crore to Rs 550 crore, for Sri Lanka from Rs 75 crore to 150 crore, for Mongolia from Rs 2.50 crore to Rs 7 crore, while African nations’ allocation has been hiked from Rs 160 crore to Rs 250 crore.
For Eurasian nations, it has been increased from Rs 65 crore to Rs 75 crore and for Latin American nations, the allocation has been hiked from Rs 7 crore to Rs 50 crore.
These allocations basically pertain to aid for cultural and heritage projects as well as for disaster relief.