In a signal of its commitment to Afghan people, India on Tuesday set aside in its budget for 2022-23, an amount of Rs 200 crore as development assistance to Afghanistan besides allocating Rs 100 crore for the Chabahar port project.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated a total of Rs 17,250 crore to the Ministry of External Affairs in the Union Budget for the next fiscal, out of which Rs 6,292 crore is for development assistance to countries in India’s neighbourhood as well as in Africa and Latin America.
It is learnt that the allocation of Rs 200 crore to Afghanistan is a signal of India’s commitment to the Afghan people and the money may be spent on paying for old projects, scholarships and providing aid to the Afghan people. Last year, the allocation made under development assistance to Afghanistan was Rs 350 crore but the revised estimate put the amount at Rs 200 crore.
Bhutan got the maximum outlay of over Rs 2,266 crore, while development assistance for Nepal and Myanmar has been pegged at Rs 750 crore and Rs 600 crore, respectively.
An amount of Rs 360 crore has been earmarked for the Maldives, while the developmental aid for Bangladesh is pegged at Rs 300 crore and the outlay for Sri Lanka was Rs 200 crore. Mauritius will get Rs 900 crore, according to the budget documents.
The African countries will be provided development assistance worth Rs 250 crore, while Rs 140 crore has been earmarked for the Eurasian countries.
An amount of Rs 40 crore will be allocated for Latin American countries while a separate outlay of Rs 150 crore was made for other developing countries.
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 2021-22. According to the budget documents, an additional amount of Rs 447 crore has been set aside for ‘support to international training/programmes’.