KATHMANDU, Feb 3: India has allocated Nepal an estimated 7 billion Indian rupees in grant for Fiscal Year 2019/20. The interim union budget presented by Indian Finance Minister Piyush Goyal at Lok Sabha on Friday has proposed to give Nepal 7 billion Indian rupees, which converts to 11.2 billion in Nepali currency, in grants for the upcoming fiscal year.
India has reduced its allocated aid to a half dozen countries along with Nepal in the new budget compared to the revised estimates of 2018/19, while it increased grants for a few countries.
India has been providing grants and loans to nearly a dozen countries including its immediate neighbors Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
The aid to Nepal is going to fall from the revised estimates of current Fiscal Year 2018/19 by nearly 500 million Indian rupees. However, the allocated budget will be higher than the initial estimates of the same fiscal year. The revised estimate stands at INr 7.5 billion, while the initial budget estimate was 6.5 billion.
According to the Expenditure Profile for 2019/20, a part of the budget document, India has allocated a total of INr 68.94 billion in grants and 6.75 billion in loans to foreign governments.
The Indian aid to Nepal had more than doubled to INr 6.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2018/19 from the previous fiscal year's 3.77 billion.
The grant to Nepal has been allocated through the Ministry of External Affairs of India.
Bhutan is going to be the biggest recipient among the countries that receive Indian aid. The Modi-led government has allocated INr 21.15 billion in grant and 5 billion in loan assistance to Bhutan, up from 20.14 billion of grant and 4.96 billion (revised estimates) of loans in Fiscal Year 2018/19.
Allocated grant to Bangladesh, Mauritius, Mongolia, African countries and Myanmar saw a rise in FY2019/20 compared to the revised estimates of FY2018/19. Besides Nepal, the Modi-led government has proposed reducing grants to Seychelles, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and other developing countries from the revised estimates.
The interim budget presented by the Modi-led government before the national elections scheduled to be held this year announces a direct income support for small and marginal farmers who own less than 2 hectares of land. Around 120 million agricultural households will be given an income support of INr 6,000 per year, according to the Indian media.