Sunday, April 19, 2009

Foreign Aid Continues to Pour in Resurgent India

In spite of all of the recent news about aid to Pakistan dominating the media, the fact remains that resurgent India has received more foreign aid than any other developing nation since the end of World War II--estimated at almost $100 billion since the beginning of its First Five-Year Plan in 1951. And it continues to receive more foreign aid in spite of impressive economic growth for almost a decade.

India was the fourth largest recipient of aid (ODA) between 1995 to 2008 (US$26.1 billion), according to Global Humanitarian Assistance website.

According to OECD group of the aid donor nations, the words "aid" and "assistance" refer to flows which qualify as Official Development Assistance (ODA) or Official Aid (OA). Such OA or ODA aid includes both grants and soft loans given by OECD nations and multi-lateral institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, IMF, etc.



Britain will spend over $1.5 billion during the next three years in aid to Shining India, a nuclear-armed power that sent a spacecraft to the moon recently, to lift "hundreds of millions of people" out of poverty, the British secretary of state for international development said last November, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Douglas Alexander, the first cabinet minister to visit India's poorest state Bihar, said that despite "real strides in economic growth" there were still 828 million people living on less than $2 a day in India.

UK's Department of International Development says if the UN's millennium development goals - alleviating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates and fighting epidemics such as Aids - are left unmet in India, they will not be met worldwide. Some 43% of children go hungry and a woman dies in childbirth every five minutes.

British Minister Alexander contrasted the rapid growth in China with India's economic success - highlighting government figures that showed the number of poor people had dropped in the one-party communist state by 70% since 1990 but had risen in the world's biggest democracy by 5%.



After the increase of British aid to $500 million (300 million pounds) a year, India will still remain the biggest recipient of Japan's official development assistance (ODA) in the near future. Since Japan's first ODA to India in 1958, the country has received monetary aid worth Rs 89,500 crore (Rs 895 billion) so far, according to Noro Motoyoshi, Japanese consul general in Kolkata. In 2008, Japan's ODA to India was up by more than 18% compared to 2007 at Rs 6916 crore (Rs 69.16 billion).

The World Bank said recently it will lend India $14 billion in soft loans by 2012 to help the country overhaul its creaking infrastructure and increase living standards in its poor states, according to Financial Express.

At the recent G20 meeting, India has asked the World Bank to raise the amount of money India can borrow as soft loans, generally considered aid, from the bank for its infrastructure projects, according to Times of India. At present, India can borrow up to $15.5 billion in soft loans as per the SBL (single borrower limit)in soft loans fixed by the Bank.

The Indian government has estimated it needs $500 billion over the five years to 2012 to upgrade infrastructure such as roads, ports, power and railways.

"Under the strategy, the bank will use lending, dialogue, analytical work, engagement with the private sector, and capacity building to help India achieve its goals," the World Bank said on its website.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development would lend $9.6 billion and the International Development Association would make available $4.4 billion of funding, according to India's Financial Express.

Only 30 per cent of India's state highways have two lanes or more, and the majority are in poor condition, the bank said. Electricity generation capacity has grown at less than 5 per cent in the past five years, much slower than overall economic growth of about 8 per cent over the same period.

The funds would also be used to help reduce poverty in seven low-income states; Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the World Bank said.

Foreign Aid as Percentage of Indian GDP. Source: World Bank


The biggest direct aid donor countries to India are Japan and UK, as well as multiple international humanitarian aid programs supported through NGOs, in addition to the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP, WFP, and a whole alphabet soup of organizations active in helping the teeming population of the poor, the illiterates, the hungry and and the destitute in India.

According to Japan's ministry of finance, India has received $33 billion in soft loans and a billion dollars in grants from Japan since 1997. In 2008, Japan gave India $2.5 billion in soft loans, and $5 million in grants. By contrast, Pakistan has received $10 billion in soft loans, and $2.3 billion in grants from Japan since 1999. In 2008, Japan gave Pakistan $500 million in soft loans and $63 million in grants.

India, often described as peaceful, stable and prosperous in the Western media, remains home to the largest number of poor and hungry people in the world. About one-third of the world's poor people live in India. More than 450 million Indians exist on less than $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. It also has a higher proportion of its population living on less than $2 per day than even sub-Saharan Africa. India has about 42% of the population living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 per day. The number of Indian poor also constitute 33% of the global poor, which is pegged at 1.4 billion people, according to a Times of India news report. More than 6 million of those desperately poor Indians live in Mumbai alone, representing about half the residents of the nation's financial capital. They live in super-sized slums and improvised housing juxtaposed with the shining new skyscrapers that symbolize India's resurgence. According to the World Bank and the UN Development Program (UNDP), 22% of Pakistan's population is classified as poor.

There is widespread hunger and malnutrition in all parts of India. India ranks 66th on the 2008 Global Hunger Index of 88 countries while Pakistan is slightly better at 61 and Bangladesh slightly worse at 70.

Indian media's headlines about the newly-minted Indian billionaires need to bring sharper focus on the growing rich-poor gap in India. On its inside pages, The Times of India last year reported Communist Party leader Sitaram Yechury's as saying that "on the one hand, 36 Indian billionaires constituted 25% of India’s GDP while on the other, 70% of Indians had to do with Rs 20 a day". "A farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes. The gap between the two Indias is widening," he said. Over 1500 farmers committed suicide last year in the central state of Chhattisgarh alone.

Among the Asian nations mentioned in an October 2008 UN report, Pakistan is more egalitarian than the India, Bangladesh, China and Indonesia. Based on all the UNDP data, Pakistan does not have the level of hunger and abject poverty observed in India or Bangladesh.

According to the new UN-HABITAT report on the State of the World's Cities 2008/9: Harmonious Cities, China has the highest level of consumption inequality based on Gini Coefficient in the Asia region, higher than Pakistan (0.298), Bangladesh (0.318), India (0.325), and Indonesia (0.343), among others." Gini coefficient is defined as a ratio with values between 0 and 1: A low Gini coefficient indicates more equal income or wealth distribution, while a high Gini coefficient indicates more unequal distribution. 0 corresponds to perfect equality (everyone having exactly the same income) and 1 corresponds to perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, while everyone else has zero income).

Violence is rising in India because of the growing rich-poor gap. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself has called the Maoist insurgency emanating from the state of Chhattisgarh the biggest internal security threat to India since independence. The Maoists, however, are confined to rural areas; their bold tactics haven't rattled Indian middle-class confidence in recent years as much as the bomb attacks in major cities have. These attacks are routinely blamed on Muslim militants. How long will Maoists remain confined to the rural areas will depend on the response of the Indian government to the insurgents who exploit huge and growing economic disparities in Indian society.

In 2006 a commission appointed by the government revealed that Muslims in India are worse educated and less likely to find employment than low-caste Hindus. Muslim isolation and despair is compounded by what B. Raman, a hawkish security analyst, was moved after the most recent attacks to describe as the "inherent unfairness of the Indian criminal justice system".

Ironically, there are some parallels here between the violent Maoists movement in India and the Taliban militants in Pakistan, in spite of their diametrically opposed ideologies. Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of neglected tribal people and landless farmers, as are the Taliban in FATA and NWFP. Though their tactics vary, both movements have killed dozens of people, including security personnel, in the last few weeks. Both movements control wide swathes of territory in their respective countries. Both continue to challenge the writ of central or provincial authorities.

I have always been intrigued by Kerala and I wonder if there is a Kerala model that could be replicated in the rest of South Asia. With the exception of Kerala, the situation in India is far worse than the Human Development Index suggests. According to economist Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize for his work on hunger, India has fared worse than any other country in the world at preventing recurring hunger.

In addition to its high literacy rate, Kerala boasts one of India's best healthcare systems, even for those who can't afford to pay user fees and therefore depend on government hospitals. Kerala's infant mortality rate is about 16 deaths per 1,000 births, or half the national average of 32 deaths per 1,000 births.

Freelance journalist Shirin Shirin thinks Kerala's success has something to do with the fact that communists have ruled Kerala for much of the past 50 years. The CPI(M) successfully pushed for three major reforms in the 1960s and 1970s. The first and most important was land reform. While nearly everyone looks on land reform as a huge success in Kerala, the policy was controversial when it was first proposed in 1959. Land reform, after all, is an attack on one of capitalism's founding principles - the right to property. The central government intervened and effectively blocked the implementation of land reform for 10 years. But planners and unions in Kerala understood that building a more egalitarian economy required attacking the old feudal system at its roots, and small farmers weren't going to stand for anything less.

But even Shining Kerala is plagued by hunger and malnourishment, just as the rest of India. The first India State Hunger Index (Ishi) this year found that Madhya Pradesh had the most severe level of hunger in India, comparable to Chad and Ethiopia. Four states — Punjab, Kerala, Haryana and Assam — fell in the 'serious' category. "Affluent" Gujarat, 13th on the Indian list is below Haiti, ranked 69. The authors said India's poor performance was primarily due to its relatively high levels of child malnutrition and under-nourishment resulting from calorie deficient diets.

A recent issue of San Jose Mercury News has a pictorial about grinding poverty in India done by John Boudreau and Dai Sugano. This heartbreaking pictorial illustrates the extent of the problem that India faces, a problem that could potentially be very destabilizing and put the entire society at the risk of widespread chaos and violence.



Related Links:

Aid at a Glance by OECD Nations
Economic Woes? Look to Kerala

Mumbai's Slumdog Millionaire
Poverty Tours in India, Brazil and South Africa
South Asia's War on Hunger Takes Back Seat

Grinding Poverty in Resurgent India

Pakistani Children's Plight

Japans's Aid to India

Poverty in Pakistan

Japan's ODA to Pakistan

OECD's Definition of Aid

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

"World Bank considering to raise sovereign borrowing limit"

Reads the reference of yours in times of india. Any lender would like to lend to the guy who can reasonable repay the money and there is decent consistency in the country economy and politics.

With regard to india, whatever you have mentioned with regard to the develpment need are true. There is no denial to fool oneself.

As you had mentioned in other thread of yours that the government aid are basically to export their own country products to donee. It is like an export promotion campagin nothing more.

Conclude, india wants funds which the pm saves every day for its own development need and world bank has got money to borrow. There is no charity by ANYBODY. It is a mutually beneificial relationship.

Anonymous said...

"In 2006 a commission appointed by the government revealed that Muslims in India are worse educated and less likely to find employment than low-caste Hindus."

Pls go www.indianmuslims.in, you can read article about the average muslim income more than the hindu. Statistics can be used to interpret either way.

However the truth of the matter is that the muslims of india are true brethen of the universal ummah looking backward. Hindu / muslim started togater after independence and see the difference in the social reforms which has move the one up and other where they are :

HIndu Social reforms

General

Removal of untouchability
reservation

Women oriented

Women education
MInimum marriage age.
Alimony for women
equal right on ancenstoral property
Ban on polygamy
sati
widow remarriage
Family planning - Government priveleges are only for the two children.

Muslim practices

Polygamy
More children - more poverty - blame nation
NO education
NO alimony
NO equal right for woman
First Cousin marriage - more children with special care.

EDUCATED MUSLIM NEVER GO BACK TO THEIR SOCIETY TO BLEND THEM BETWEEN DEVELOPMENT & RELIGION IS THE GREATEST CURSE OF INDIANMUSLIMS.

Who has to be blamed the society and its failed leaders who used their collective vote bank politics to nullify the alimony to a old woman rather than for economic development. If individual have more children, india is not oil rich middle east to doll out money. They have to be blamed for their state.

Even god help people who helps themself.

Anonymous said...

http://secular-hindu.sulekha.com/blog/post/2009/04/indian-muslim-leadership.htm

Failure of muslim leadership in my blog for refernce.

Even china is shown as receiving more aid. Fact of the matter is that china has the largest us reserves. So what is shown as aid is nothing but loan. Loan is always given to the guy who can return back.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "As you had mentioned in other thread of yours that the government aid are basically to export their own country products to donee. It is like an export promotion campagin nothing more."

The World Bank is not a country, it's a multi-lateral inst with the charter of "poverty reduction". India qualifies because it is home to more than third of the world's poor...a form of charity loan at very low interest rates to be repaid over a very long period.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Pls go www.indianmuslims.in, you can read article about the average muslim income more than the hindu. Statistics can be used to interpret either way."

"Muslim practices Polygamy More children - more poverty - blame nation NO education
NO alimony NO equal right for woman
First Cousin marriage - more children with special care."

First you say that Muslims are doing well and earning more, then you go on to explain why they are not doing well and blaming them for it. Are you contradicting yourself? Are you confused about your own arguments? What exactly are you saying? Please have clarity of thinking on these issues.

Jadev said...

I guess its a loan..rather than an AID which India is quite capable of repaying unlike Pakistan. Pakistan is past the rubicon and is a failed state..where Taliban and Pak Army has the same motto..jihad fisbillah..ha ha..
Your country will be in tatters in months..
India is in a growth trajectory and is consistently cutting down poverty albeit slowly. A feudalistic, bigoted, islamic people of a failed state advising a rising regional superpower is ironic.

Riaz Haq said...

Jadev: "Your country will be in tatters in months.."

Is that why the world just pledged $ 5 billion in loans and grants to Pakistan ? Is that why the ADB and WB are loaning an additional $2 billion to Pakistan? Do they not expect to get repaid by Pakistan, as they do by India? Go figure!

Your ill-will toward Pakistan and Pakistanis has never been a secret, Jadev! But remember, it's just your wishful thinking! Because the world is still loaning money to Pakistan, as it is to India. And they expect Pakistan to be around to repay.

Anonymous said...

Raiz

World bank has a capital and it would like to give the money to countries which will repay the loan with some small interest.

It desist from giving loan to countries where the stability [ economically / politically ] is not sure. Otherwise they give loan. Further i have not said that india is not a poor country. India is a poor country but the multilateral organization is ready to give loan as we are repaying our existing obligations as per the agreement.

wb put conditions for toll on road development and most of the project funded by wb funds operate on Build operation and transfer on the basis of toll by private sector. People have income to pay toll and in turn return money to WB. That is the question nothing else.

Anonymous said...

I generally desist from getting into this argument but for your statement saying that muslims are not doing well in india in this thread.

Muslim are doing well / no well are are correct statement on the basis of question :

Is muslims avg income more than hindu ? YES

is the participation of muslims on education and government job ? NO

I can provide government source for both the above statements.

Offcourse i can say with confidence an average muslim has more opportunities and freedom to grow in india than what is in pakistan.

Anonymous said...

indian brahmin ruling elites have a blind spot for massive poverty in india. In some cases, it is worse than Africa.

Anonymous said...

funny how it become headline in indian newspaper and gives erection to indian extremist whenever a third rate "analyst" in u.s. or euorpe who has never visited country predicts Pakistan's collapse again. According to this, Pakistan must have collapsed dozens time over!

Anonymous said...

Riaz China is an even bigger beneficiary of "aid" (your own graphic). Your point may be valid - India's poverty-stricken masses blah blah - but your case is bogus.

As Ejaz Haider (and Cyril Almeida) wrote - India has already solved the first-order issues of the state - it is a parliamentary democracy - and has built a broad consensus around that. It is grappling with the 2nd order issues - reducing poverty, increasing literacy, better health, infrastructure and more. You know what's left unsaid.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "It desist from giving loan to countries where the stability [ economically / politically ] is not sure. Otherwise they give loan."

Absolutely wrong. World Bank provides loans specially when there are political and economic problems, where commercial lenders do not want to lend. Its main objective is poverty reduction, not return on investment.

Vikram said...

Shouldnt you really be talking about AID per capita ? I mean India is home to 1/6th of the world, so comparing raw numbers does not give the true picture.

In my personal experience and reading, I dont think it is poverty that causes instability in India. This is a mistake often made by western commentators. Instability mainly has to do with ethnic tensions and government repression (eg land acquisition), especially in the mineral rich tribal belt.

If one would assume income inequality to be the main reason for instability then Mumbai would be a prime candidate for instability, but the city is relatively peaceful. The only riots that occured in the city were between Hindus and Muslims, most of the perpetrators were lower middle class men, not the extremely poor.

Anonymous said...

India has to worry about some serious issue too, read below:



There is a "lack of awareness" over condom sizes
A survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men.

The study found that more than half of the men measured had penises that were shorter than international standards for condoms.

It has led to a call for condoms of mixed sizes to be made more widely available in India.

The two-year study was carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Over 1,200 volunteers from the length and breadth of the country had their penises measured precisely, down to the last millimetre.

The scientists even checked their sample was representative of India as a whole in terms of class, religion and urban and rural dwellers.

It's not size, it's what you do with it that matters

Sunil Mehra
The conclusion of all this scientific endeavour is that about 60% of Indian men have penises which are between three and five centimetres shorter than international standards used in condom manufacture.

Doctor Chander Puri, a specialist in reproductive health at the Indian Council of Medical Research, told the BBC there was an obvious need in India for custom-made condoms, as most of those currently on sale are too large.

The issue is serious because about one in every five times a condom is used in India it either falls off or tears, an extremely high failure rate.

And the country already has the highest number of HIV infections of any nation.

'Not a problem'

Mr Puri said that since Indians would be embarrassed about going to a chemist to ask for smaller condoms there should be vending machines dispensing different sizes all around the country.

"Smaller condoms are on sale in India. But there is a lack of awareness that different sizes are available. There is anxiety talking about the issue. And normally one feels shy to go to a chemist's shop and ask for a smaller size condom."

But Indian men need not be concerned about measuring up internationally according to Sunil Mehra, the former editor of the Indian version of the men's magazine Maxim.

"It's not size, it's what you do with it that matters," he said.

"From our population, the evidence is Indians are doing pretty well.

"With apologies to the poet Alexander Pope, you could say, for inches and centimetres, let fools contend."

Zafar said...

Dear Riaz; the last comment by anon on April 20 @ 9:17 pm must be removed.

You should have not let it published. This is not the time and place to post such things.

I urge you to remove it or I will stop reading your blog.

I am Pakistani and commenting from Middle East.

Anonymous said...

Raiz,

Taliban is only 100 km away from islamabad. Day might be far when the taliban will be the ruler and the army might be working under them.

Redemption look very bleak in this scenario on the face of it but for some miracle.

Anonymous said...

Mr Zafar/Pakistani from Middle east, why you want that news to be removed, it’s a serious research study results, read carefully. Either way globally there is freedom of speech. You cannot dictate somebody else’s blog, Riaz can edit or delete on his own discern, the guy is highly educated, reformed, read his profile. Myself and Friends really are very impressed by his writings, he has enough fans. You sounded just like our former religious minister Maulana Kausar Niazi(director of Censor board).Common grow up, its no big deal, this news was legitimate about India, splattered all over the news, they did the study themselves to make awareness of massive condom failures causing overpopulation, increased poverty, more spread of AIDS. Do you think if these were the results from a Pakistani study, the world blogs would have stopped for a minute and ignored it? I failed to comprehend that you say" that this is not the place and time".Why? I think you have to read it again, with a more mature outlook. Pakistan like every country has set of issues, India and China their major and extremely serious issue in spite of their Industrial might is population issue, rather graphic study analysis, but that’s a major fact jack.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon at 1; 36 am said: "Taliban is only 100 km away from Islamabad. Day might be far when the Taliban will be the ruler and the army might be working under them."

That’s old news dude, if your definations of taliban is a hard working blue collar pakistani citizen, then they are definitely even less than 100 km from whatever cutoff point you want to mark, what’s your point, where are you getting these solid predications, because this dredful news would have been reported by somebody, are you sitting with binoculars in Islamabad watching them stationed in your own fantasy world, why this illogical stereotypical behavior, like every Pakistani guy with shulwar khameez, beared and turban you conclude is TALIBAN, is Taliban some country, any special culture, explain. Pakistan is certainly not a banana republic but is definitely suffering because of certain crazy fanatic remnants from soviet-afghan era. Guys like you, I bet you are not Pakistani are predicting, waiting, wishing since 1947 which is now a failed concept, as things have changed, Pakistan army is too strong, united and too patriotic, soon Taliban will be the one who will be wiped out cleaned. Some place its negotiating with diplomacy, some with firepower. Be patient, the movie has not ended yet, right bro.

Anonymous said...

Hi

You guys are undying optimist, i bet. still believing that pakistan is not a failed state. Best of luck. With regard to taliban, still you have hopes on army. Army will quietly give way to taliban and be under them as they are smart not to fight a loosing battle. History buddy history. Pakistan army quietly they eft bangladesh when pak-army found that it cannot win the war as the local place [ muktibahini] was turning to grave yard.

http://secular-hindu.sulekha.com/blog/post/2009/03/indo-pak.htm

India never wishes the end of pakistan but pakistan from the day one wishes for the problems of india. India survived by gods wish and gods wish is more powerfull than being stooge of america [ pakistan for the last twenty years ].

I read an article where the state found by a staunch hindu [ gandhi ] is more secular that the state found by secular [ jinnah ].

Anonymous said...

@anon 7:33 pm said:” Pakistan army quietly they eft bangladesh when pak-army found that it cannot win the war as the local place [ muktibahini] was turning to grave yard."

I find your statements ridiculous; first of all did you read about that war, what happened? India was involved all along. By the way why you are worried about Pakistan’s downfall, do you live in Pakistan or are you a Pakistani or its just plain hatred against a country because you have nothing else productive to do. How can you predict stuff, its amazing? Currently India is also a BIG stooge of USA too (after civil nuclear deal), enjoy their dictation, as soon Kashmir issue will be resolved, like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Riaz, for once you have lost your respect as blogger. Apart from that you have turned into an ignorant perpetrator of news. Your news above is collection of facts but you have failed and in way succeeded in getting ignorant cowards of pakistan state on a bandwagon -I mean its misguided citizens are fooled-that includes me. For fifty years -Pakistan has been fooled by India enemy syndrome and even now when we need to hang our heads in shame for our indirect involvement of terrorism as state citizens of pakistan-we still like to shamelessly fool ourselves of Indias failures. Poverty is NOT as shameful as selling soul to religious cowards or turning a nation into religous hell!!!!!!!! DID YOU READ WHAT HILLARY CLINTON SAID TODAY?????--Our proud nation is the mortal threat to the world!!! To hell your long essay-when did India ever get such a bad name-shall we compare ourselves to Bangladesh??? The essay reflects your growing frustration at the inevitable fall of Pakistan to Taliban. I think you need to understand-at this age that to beg is not as bad as to kill.We belong to the second category-only we but there are many nations that belong to Indias category including China. You have contradicted yourself with this essay-the question now is any surprise why we are a failed nation-read your own blog yourself-please!

Anonymous said...

@anon 6;30 pm said: "I mean its misguided citizens are fooled-that includes me."

so any ingenious plan to counter all that, or plan to surrender your country honorabily.If people like you and others for once had one protocol in life for sake of god, things would have been much different.So stop reading Riaz's blog if you dont like it, all he is doing is trying very hard to clearly presents 100% reliable/logical arguments which shows his true patriotism.Maybe you should apply for Indian citizenship and that will make peace for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

It is love without conviction where nobody wants to spoil his hands to do a gandhi leaving his professional comfort to liberate his people something similar to moses. His ultimate sacrifice motivated the whole country.

There is no use in blaming as after all it is jinnah who formed the country who neither sacrificed nor had religious belief to form the state for muslim. What else can you expect.

Anonymous said...

Anon...
"I find your statements ridiculous; first of all did you read about that war, what happened? India was involved all along. By the way why you are worried about Pakistan’s downfall, do you live in Pakistan or are..."

Pakistan is global headache/migraine, specialy for India....If you leave Islam, and try to behave as responsible country, Indians will be having no problem for Pakistan...It is not India alone, a lot of people in Europe and USA also dislike Pakistan for being the jihad/islam hatchery....

Anonymous said...

@ anon who said: Pakistan is global headache/migraine, specialy for India....


Iam so elated you feel that way, face it my man you have no choice but to enjoy your slum city and this headache.As you never left us alone since 1947, I still have fresh memories of 1971 Indo-pak/bangladesh war unprovoked started solely by India and your evil Indhra gandhi ( look how she died) for its permanent evil plans.Well Europe too should deal with it, what can we do they created these cave dwellers mountain, peanut brain, fanatic men for Soviet afghan war era residue,enjoy it baby with unfortunately us too.You deserve this uncertainity too as you Indians always have hidden agendas against Pakistan your twin cultural neighbour.

@ anon who said: "There is no use in blaming as after all it is jinnah who formed the country who neither sacrificed nor had religious belief to form the state for muslim. What else can you expect.

I think you are an ignorant hate monger/idiot and a certified moron as your above statements are without any referances, Jinnah was brilliant, read about him, then make genuine, unbiased, honest statements.Either way I can understand your sufferings and frustration as a bloody Indian, when Jinnah with his sheer brilliance created our beloved nation PAKISTAN, long live pakistan.PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

Riaz Haq said...

For all those who sing the praises of Indian democracy, here's the real truth:

India was very a well governed nation under Muslims...far better than the pathetic governance you have today in "the largest democracy".

The pre-British, early 19th century Moghul India, described as caste-ridden, feudalistic and unmodern, was economically ahead of the rest of the world,including Britain and the US, according to S. Gururmurthy, a popular Indian columnist. The Indian economy contributed 19 per cent of the world GDP in 1830, and 18 per cent of global trade, when the share of Britain was 8 per cent in production and 9 per cent in trade, and that of US, 2 per cent in production and 1 per cent in trade. India had hundreds of thousands of village schools and had a functional literacy rate of over 30 per cent. In contrast, when the British left, India’s share of world production and trade declined to less than 1 per cent and its literacy was down to 17 per cent.

Indian guy said...

Incorrect if you say 'Muslim rule.' Under some of the Mughal rulers, yes. I have no doubt that Akbar, Shah Jahan and Jahangir were good rulers and India prospered under them and was also peaceful. Before and after, you had religiously intolerant idiots (best case Aurangzeb) who set the timer for the suicide bombing of the Mughal empire. Bahadur Shah Zafar was a great ruler too, but he came too late and was too old to save the empire's sunset.

By the way, India was always a rich country even before the Muslims invaded. I appreciate the fact that at least the Mughals made India their home(unlike Mohammed Ghori, Nadir Shah and the Brits). This kept India's wealth from going out of country.

And whats wrong with singing praises of India's parliamentary democarcy? With all its flaws, we still have the same consitution that we adopted in 1950 and have not had any dictators. The world's biggest democarcy just concluded its 15th parliamentary election - the grandest democratic exercise in history. India (along with China) has taken off the maximum people out of poverty during the past few decades. But thanks to our huge population, we have miles to go before we rest.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AFP report about World Bank aid to India to clean up Ganges:

(AFP) – Dec 2, 2009

NEW DELHI — The World Bank said Wednesday it will give India at least one billion dollars to help clean up the heavily polluted holy river Ganges as part of moves to sharply hike lending to the country.

The Ganges clean-up involves building modern sewage treatment, revamping drains and other measures to improve the quality of the sacred river which has been badly dirtied by industrial chemicals, farm pesticides and other sewage.

"The World Bank is helping the government of India in its recently launched program to clean and conserve the Ganga (Ganges) River with an initial assistance of one billion dollars to be provided over the next four-to-five years," the multilateral lender said in a statement.

India's environment minister hailed the World Bank's support for cleaning up the river, known to Hindus as "the Mother Ganges."

"This is a project of enormous national importance and I am pleased that the World Bank has come forward to assist us," Ramesh said at a joint news conference in New Delhi with visiting World Bank chief Robert Zoellick.

The announcement came after the finance ministry earlier Wednesday said the World Bank was expected to triple lending this year to India to seven billion this year for development, infrastructure and other projects.

The sum is three times the average 2.3 billion dollars the Bank has loaned India annually over the past four years.

Zoellick is on a four-day visit to the country.

India already has 19.57 billion dollars in World Bank loans that are supporting 68 development, infrastructure and other projects and is the Washington-based financial institution's biggest borrower.

As part of the seven billion dollars in lending this year, the World Bank in September announced 4.3 billion dollars in loans to help strengthen India's economy amid the global economic crisis.

Zoellick wrote in the Hindustan Times newspaper Wednesday that India faces enormous challenges.

But "if it can remove (infrastructure) bottlenecks that slow its economy, then India is well positioned to become one of the new poles of global growth."

The world financial system "needs to accommodate India and other powers whose growth rates far exceed those of developed countries," Zoellick said.

As India's economy returns to growth rates of eight-to-nine per cent, "we can expect it to grow not only as a market but as a supplier of a range of services and increasingly knowledge-intensive goods," Zoellick said.

Earlier this week, India reported quarterly growth rose 7.9 percent from a year earlier, underscoring what analysts said has been the country's faster-than-expected recovery from the global slump.

The finance ministry said Mukherjee pressed Zoellick for swift completion of reforms to give a greater voice to developing nations at the World Bank.

In September, leaders at a Group of 20 summit in the US city of Pittsburgh backed plans to give developing countries greater voting rights at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are "Reflections on India" published by an American traveler-blogger:

First, pollution. In my opinion the filth, squalor and all around pollution indicates a marked lack of respect for India by Indians. I don't know how cultural the filth is, but it's really beyond anything I have ever encountered. At times the smells, trash, refuse and excrement are like a garbage dump. Right next door to the Taj Mahal was a pile of trash that smelled so bad, was so foul as to almost ruin the entire Taj experience. Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai to a lesser degree were so very polluted as to make me physically ill. Sinus infections, ear infection, bowels churning was an all to common experience in India. Dung, be it goat, cow or human fecal matter was common on the streets. In major tourist areas filth was everywhere, littering the sidewalks, the roadways, you name it. Toilets in the middle of the road, men urinating and defecating anywhere, in broad daylight. Whole villages are plastic bag wastelands. Roadsides are choked by it. Air quality that can hardly be called quality. Far too much coal and far to few unleaded vehicles on the road. The measure should be how dangerous the air is for one's health, not how good it is. People casually throw trash in the streets, on the roads. The only two cities that could be considered sanitary in my journey were Trivandrum--the capital of Kerala--and Calicut. I don't know why this is. But I can assure you that at some point this pollution will cut into India's productivity, if it already hasn't. The pollution will hobble India's growth path, if that indeed is what the country wants. (Which I personally doubt, as India is far too conservative a country, in the small 'c' sense.)

The second issue, infrastructure, can be divided into four subcategories: roads, rails and ports and the electrical grid. The electrical grid is a joke. Load shedding is all too common, everywhere in India. Wide swaths of the country spend much of the day without the electricity they actually pay for. With out regular electricity, productivity, again, falls. The ports are a joke. Antiquated, out of date, hardly even appropriate for the mechanized world of container ports, more in line with the days of longshoremen and the like. Roads are an equal disaster. I only saw one elevated highway that would be considered decent in Thailand, much less Western Europe or America. And I covered fully two thirds of the country during my visit. There are so few dual carriage way roads as to be laughable. There are no traffic laws to speak of, and if there are, they are rarely obeyed, much less enforced. A drive that should take an hour takes three. A drive that should take three takes nine. The buses are at least thirty years old, if not older. Everyone in India, or who travels in India raves about the railway system. Rubbish. It's awful. Now, when I was there in 2003 and then late 2004 it was decent. But in the last five years the traffic on the rails has grown so quickly that once again, it is threatening productivity. Waiting in line just to ask a question now takes thirty minutes. Routes are routinely sold out three and four days in advance now, leaving travelers stranded with little option except to take the decrepit and dangerous buses. At least fifty million people use the trains a day in India. 50 million people! Not surprising that waitlists of 500 or more people are common now. The rails are affordable and comprehensive but they are overcrowded and what with budget airlines popping up in India like Sadhus in an ashram the middle and lowers classes are left to deal with the overutilized rails and quality suffers. No one seems to give a shit. Seriously, I just never have the impression that the Indian government really cares. Too interested in buying weapons from Russia, Israel and the US I guess.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece in India Daily about India wanting more foreign aid:

According to Financial Times, when India's new government announced last week that it would accept aid from Group of Eight countries and other European donors, it took many donors by surprise. The previous government had restricted bilateral aid to six donors - UK, US, Russia, Germany, Japan and the EU - in a bid to style itself a donor rather than a recipient of aid. But last week New Delhi reinstated donors such as Canada, France, Italy and the Scandinavian countries.

India receives about $5bn (€4bn, £2.8bn) a year in aid, mainly from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Japan.

Although it has increased the number of donors and invited aid packages of more than $25m a year, the new government led my prime minister Manmohan Singh has signaled it has not wavered from India's aim to "graduate" from needing aid to giving it. But it has so far failed to clarify the direction of its aid policy - an uncertainty that could damage India's efforts to be ranked as a permanent UN Security Council member.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report about Kerala's economy and social indicators:

Kerala defies all stereotypes of a "socially backward" Indian state - swathes of people living in abject poverty, men outnumbering women because of female foeticide, internecine caste politics.

Many of its social indicators are on par with the developed world and it has the highest human development index in India.

It also has the highest literacy rate (more than 90%) and life expectancy in India, lowest infant mortality, lowest school drop-out rate, and a fairly prosperous countryside.

That's not all.

In contrast to India's more prosperous states, like Punjab and Haryana, Kerala can boast a very healthy gender ratio - women outnumber men here.

Life expectancy for women is also higher than for men, as in most developed countries. Thanks to a matrilineal society, women, by and large, are more empowered than in most places in India.

When it comes to low population growth, Kerala competes with Europe and the US. And all but two districts of the state have a lower fertility rate than that needed to maintain current population levels.
----------------
And thanks to pioneering land reforms initiated by a Communist government in the late 1950s, the levels of rural poverty here are the lowest in India. Decent state-funded health care and education even made it the best welfare state in India.

Yet, today, Kerala is a straggler economy almost entirely dependent on tourism and remittances sent back by two million of its people who live and work abroad, mostly in the Gulf.

Joblessness is rife due to the lack of a robust manufacturing base - more than 15% in urban areas, three times the national average. More than 30 million people live in the densely populated state, a third of which is covered by forests

More people here are taking their lives than anywhere else in India. Alcoholism is a dire social problem - the state has India's highest per capita alcohol consumption. People migrate because there are no jobs at home.
---------------------------------
Clearly, Kerala needs a new contract between the state and its people to move ahead and build upon its enviable gains.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report about British aid to India used in building toilets in Mumbai:

International development aid is one part of the UK budget unlikely to be cut in a squeeze on public finances. But questions are being asked about how aid is used, and which countries need it. India last year got almost £300m from the UK, some of it spent on toilets in the country's financial capital, Mumbai.

The stench from the stagnant, fetid stream of the Queresh Nagar slum in Mumbai hits you as soon as you get out of the car.

The slum itself is bustling and vibrant. There is a line of shops with living quarters above. The stream is behind, the water a murky grey with insects buzzing on top. Some residents have rigged up filthy plastic covers at the back of their homes for privacy. But the children scamper around using the stream, or whatever ground they can find on the disused rail track behind, for a toilet.

"We have to live in these conditions," says La La Nawab Ali, who is showing me around.

"What can we do? You can see the state of it. This is Mumbai."

In another slum at Munjul Nagar, residents show letters, many signed with thumb prints, asking the authorities to finish building a toilet block that has been left half-finished. A similar stench pervades the air.

"It's an extremely difficult and helpless situation," explains Prasad Shetty, an urban planning consultant. "It's an extremely embarrassing undignified demeaning kind of experience for them."

Most of the funding for the sanitation project initially came from the World Bank and was then was taken over by the Mumbai government.

A small amount of British aid goes from the UK Department of International Development (DFID) through charities in England and India, mainly to train people to maintain their community toilet blocks. But many in the slums say they know little or nothing about it.

"You foreign people from over there, you keep on sending so much money," says one angry slum resident. "But the poor person sees nothing."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent report titled "World Bank Grants India $1.05 Billion Aid" for Improving Education:

For expansion of reach of primary school and the quality of engineering education, the World Bank has sanctioned two projects worth $ 1.05 billion (over Rs 4,800 crore) for India, reported PTI.

“The World Bank today approved two education projects worth USD 1.05 billion for India, designed to boost the number of children enrolling in and completing elementary school, and to improve quality of engineering education across the country,” it was quoted as saying in a statement.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are recent foreign aid figures from CIA World Fact Book:


Economic Aid to India: $1,724,000,000
Economic Aid to Pak : $1,666,000,000

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a recent commentary by Indian journalist Dutta-Ray about British aid to India:

Writing in the Indian Telegraph, Mr Sunanda K Datta-Ray said that it was “demeaning for a country to accept foreign money as it is to export economic refugees, whether highly qualified professionals to America or labourers to Singapore.”

Mr Datta-Ray, former editor of The Statesman in Calcutta and New Delhi, correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and Time magazine, and editorial consultant to Singapore’s The Straits Times newspaper, added that “surrendering British aid would remove an unnecessary irritant. It would also be good for India’s self-respect.”

He went on to reveal that India actually has its own foreign aid programme, called the “Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation” programme. It was launched in 1964 and now helps 156 countries, including Afghanistan.

The bizarre situation has therefore arisen where British taxpayers give untold millions to India, whose government in turn dishes out foreign aid to other countries.

“Many Britons feel that their country cannot afford to lavish £825 million on India over three years,” Mr Datta-Ray said, pointing out that the British taxpayer had already provided India with £1,045 million in aid over the previous five years.

Mr Datta-Ray then humorously postulated what the answer would be to anyone questioning British aid to India, saying that the likely retort would be along the lines of: “Well, after they’ve paid for their military and space programmes, there’s very little left for food. Hardly their fault is it you fascist, racist, holocaust denier!”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an opinion piece talking about India's status as both donor and recipient of foreign aid:

"According to the World Food Programme (WFP), India was its 15th largest donor in 2006, donating $52 million, much of it for Iraq and Afghanistan.

First came the criticism that India should not be spending money to feed others, when its own citizens are starving or malnourished. Then came the counter-arguments explaining why malnourishment would not be solved even if India did not give food away. Both miss the real point.

Endemic malnourishment in India as a criticism of India’s donations is no criticism at all. And to respond to it is to respond to the wrong criticism. Before I explain, some numbers on India’s economic aid program.

Each year India accepts about $5 billion in economic aid, mostly from 6 major bilateral donors, as well as the World Bank, IMF and other multilateral donors. In 2000 India was a net recipient of WFP money. However, India also runs a small but long-established aid program of its own.

In 2003, it became a creditor to the IMF (remember the 1992 balance of payments crises?). Early this year, India committed $50 million to Afghanistan, bringing total aid provided to over $600 million. In summer, India promised Nepal $218 million in economic aid, in addition to waiver of loans made for military supplies. Longer-term loans included $110 million to finance Indian exports in Africa, $500 million to West African nations, and help to Tajikistan to upgrade and operate the Farkhor Air Force base.

Food aid distributed through the WFP is part of a larger economic aid program, and must be viewed as such. It comes from the Foreign Ministry, so it would only be spent on economic aid. The question therefore is not whether this money would be better spent on India’s hungry or on Iraq’s. Rather, it is whether this money would be better spent through the WFP or through bilateral aid programs. Put another way, is India’s aid allocation substantially sound?

To answer that question, one must be clear on what economic aid achieves. Beyond the merely philanthropic, economic aid generates direct benefits, often through conditionalities such as political or economic favors. This is best done through bilateral aid. Second, indirect benefits include goodwill and greater legitimacy and power, particularly in multilateral fora such as the UN and WFP."


India giving food aid seems to be akin to a shoemaker's children having no shoes to wear.

Riaz Haq said...

To answer the oft-repeated question of the difference between aid and soft loans, the answer is that most of what is called foreign aid comes in the form of soft loans from donor nations and IFIs such a WB and IMF.

Here is an example of Japan's $5 billion in aid, bulk of it as soft loans, to post-war Iraq:

[QUOTE]Japan has pledged $5 billion in total aid - $1.5 billion in grants-in-aid, with the rest being soft loans - for postwar Iraq, the largest amount committed by any single nation, bar the US. The $1.5 billion portion has already been disbursed, and the $3.5 billion soft loan is to be fully allocated by the end of 2007. Japan, the world's second-largest donor of official development assistance (ODA) after the US, is also considering becoming actively involved in an international project to create a new framework for Iraq's reconstruction. [/QUOTE]

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/HG26Dh01.html

Here's another example of Japanese ODA (official development assistance, aka aid) to India:

[QUOTE]New Delhi, March 10 Japan on Monday agreed to extend soft loans amounting to Rs 7,074 crore for seven large-scale projects including the Delhi MRTS Project (Phase-II), Hyderabad Outer Ring Road project and the Hogenakkal Water Supply project in Tamil Nadu.

The concessional loans under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) package would be made available through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The total soft loan committed by Japan for financial year 2007-08 stood at Rs 8,582 crore if the Rs 1,345 crore loan package committed in August 2007 was also counted.

The Exchange of Notes were signed and exchanged between Mr Hideaki Domichi, Ambassador of Japan to India, and Mr Kumar Sanjay Krishna, Joint Secretary in Finance Ministry, on behalf of their respective Governments, in the presence of the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, here today.
[/QUOTE]

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2008/03/11/stories/2008031151801000.htm

Here's another example of US aid to Pakistan as loans:

[QUOTE]The major American aid to Pakistan has come in form of loans with varying rates and conditions. The loan dealing with ...
[/QUOTE]


http://www.cdrb.org/journal/current/2/2.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian blogger's perspective on foreign aid to India:

India is the World Bank’s largest borrower, In June 2007 it provided $3.7bn in new loans to India. Due to the fake ‘India Shining’ propaganda launched by Hindutva idiots, foreign donors are reluctant to help the poor people in this country. According to figures provided by Britain’s aid agency, the total aid to India, from all sources, is only $1.50 a head, compared with an average of $17 per head for low-income countries. [Financial Times]

Gridlocked in corruption, greed, inhumanity and absolute inequality – of class, caste, wealth, religion – this is the Real INDIA. Hindutva Idiots, Your false pride and actions make our life miserable.


http://escapefromindia.wordpress.com/

Riaz Haq said...

According to Indian news media, Japan has agreed to provide an Official Development Assistance (ODA) package to India in the form of soft loans amounting to more than Rs 10,500 crore (Yen 215.611 billion) for the financial year 2009.

An official press release said the notes in this regard were exchanged between Dr Alok Sheel, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, and Mr Hideki Domichi, Japanese Ambassador to India here this morning.

The release said the loan would fund six major projects, including Rs 4422.84 crore (Y 90.62 billion) for Phase I of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project. The total cost of the project appraised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is Y 498.565 billion and the Government of Japan has committed Y 92.868 billion for Phase I.

The project is aimed at coping with the increasing demand for freight transport in India by constructing a new dedicated freight railway system, thereby promoting comprehensive regional economic development along the freight corridor, through improvement and modernization of inter-modal logistic system handling considerable freight traffic and poised for massive growth.

The package also includes a loan of R 2932.70 crore (Y 58.851 billion) for the Chennai Metro Project, which has been appraised by JICA at Y 378.138 billion. The Government of Japan has committed Y 21.751 billion for Phase I and Y 59.851 billion for Phase II of the project.

The project is designed to cope with the increasing traffic in Chennai metropolitan area by extending the mass rapid transportation system. It is expected to promote regional economic development and improve the urban environment through mitigation of traffic jamps and decrease of pollution caused by the increasing number of motor vehicles.

The assistance package includes a loan of Rs 1648.36 crore (Y 33.640 billion) for the Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System Project (Phase II). The total cost of Phase I of the project was appraised by JICA at Y 274.612 billion and the Japanese government has committed Y 162.751 billion. The total cost of Phase II of the project has been appraised at Y 388.670 billion and the Japanese Government has committed Y 211.976 billion. The first phase has been completed and the second phase is being implemented.

There is a Rs 1146.75 crore (Y 23.403 billion) loan for the Kolkata East-West Project Phase II. The total cost of the project has been appraised by JICA at Y 140.199 billion. The Japanese government has committed Y 6.437 billion for Phase I and Y 23.403 billion for Phase II.

The package also includes Rs 263.82 crore for the Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project and Rs 150.53 crore for the Rengali Irrigation Project.

With today's Exchange of Notes, the cumulative commitment of ODA from Japan has reached Rs 155840 crore (Yen 3116.81 billion). India continues to be the highest recipient of ODA from Japan.

Riaz Haq said...

Attitudes toward aid in India are very different than in Pakistan. Indians accept aid, but they do not want to talk about it.

Sometimes, the Indians suffer without help from Indian government, and yet the government declines or restricts foreign aid. Here are a couple of instances:

In 2009, the Indian government banned the import of Plumpy'Nut nutrient bar by UNICEF to treat moderate to severe acute malnutrition among Indian children, according to BBC. Defending the government action, Mr. Shreeranjan, the joint secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, told the Reuters that "Nothing should come behind our back. Nothing should be done in the name of emergency when we have not declared an emergency."


In the aftermath of Kashmir quake in 2005, the Indian govt refused offer of tests from overseas, even though thousands were left out in the cold for weeks after the disaster, according to NY Times.

Here's the Times report:

India also refused international aid in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, though it later allowed United Nations and private agencies to help. Three years ago, it rebuffed development aid from a number of foreign donors, saying it was no longer necessary. In short, India has been anxious to portray itself as a giver, rather than a receiver. "What we can manage on our own, we do," said Hamid Ansari, a retired Indian diplomat. "There's a certain sense of self-confidence that we can manage it and, let me say, a desire to signal that you are capable of managing things on your own."

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, the director of a private research group here called the Center for Policy Research, saw reflected in India's rejection of foreign aid so far a desire to be seen as an emerging global power, or one of what he called "the big boys."

"The risk really is that in our refusal to accept aid I don't think we are keeping people to whom aid might go as central," Mr. Mehta said. "We are playing politics with aid, using aid to make a statement."

Pakistan's approach has been exactly the opposite. Hit a whole lot harder by the Oct. 8 quake - its official death toll stood at 42,000 on Tuesday- Pakistan has appealed for worldwide help and allowed foreigners to travel to its side of Kashmir and to the traditionally well-guarded pockets of North-West Frontier Province, the two areas that suffered the greatest damage.

Pakistan is the world's largest manufacturer of tents, but still cannot produce nearly enough. The United Nations said Tuesday that 350,000 additional tents were urgently needed and that 500,000 earthquake survivors had still not received any medical care, food or other assistance.

There is no agreement on whether India has sufficient tents to care for its own. The Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Indian Army would be able to help make up the shortfall. The army spokesman in Kashmir, Lt. Col. S. K. Batra, cautioned that the military, itself badly hit in the earthquake, could not entirely deplete its own stock. The government's joint secretary of disaster management, Aseem Khurana, vowed that enough tents would be sent within a week. So far, roughly 13,000 of the 30,000 tents required have been distributed, he said, slightly less than half sent by the Indian Army.

State government officials in Kashmir said they were puzzled about the dearth of tents. "It is really eye-opening for us, that in this country with such a large population base, more than a million-strong army, and so many paramilitary forces we just do not have enough tents," said Muzaffar Baig, the Kashmir state finance and planning minister. "Every day we are getting only 300 to 400 tents from the central government."

Riaz Haq said...

Talking about begging, India is a much bigger beggar than Pakistan. Each year India receives about $5 billion in economic aid, mostly from 6 major bilateral donors, as well as the World Bank, IMF and other multilateral donors. In 2000 India was a net recipient of WFP money. However, India also runs a small but long-established aid program of its own.

http://www.planetd.org/2006/09/16/india-aid-recipient-or-donor/

Riaz Haq said...

The Development Set

By Ross Coggins

Excuse me friends, I must catch my jet,
I’m off to join the Development Set.
My bags are packed and I’ve had all my shots;
I have travelers checks and pills for the trots.

The Development Set is bright and noble.
Our thoughts are deep and our vision global.
Although we move with the better classes,
Our thoughts are always with the masses.

In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations,
We damn multi-national corporations.
Injustice seems easy to protest,
In such seething hotbeds of social unrest.

We discuss malnutrition over steaks
And plan hunger talks over coffee breaks.
Whether Asian flood or African drought
We face each issue with open mouth.

We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
Raises difficulties for every solution,
Thus guaranteeing good eating
By showing the need for another meeting.

The language of the Development Set
Stretches the English alphabet.
We use swell words like “epigenetic”
“Micro”, macro and logarithmatic.

It pleasures us to be esoteric—
It’s so intellectually atmospheric!
And though establishments may be unmoved,
Our vocabularies are much improved.

When the talk gets deep and you’re feeling dumb,
You can keep your shame to a minimum.
To show that you, too, are intelligent,
Simply ask, “Is it really development?”

Or say, “That’s fine in practice, but don’t you see,
It doesn’t really work in theory.”
A few may find this incomprehensible,
But most will admire you as deep and sensible.

Development Set homes are extremely chic,
Full of carvings, curios and draped with batik.
Eye-level photos subtly assure
That your host is at home with the great and the poor.

Enough of these verses—on with the mission!
Our task is as broad as the human condition.
Just pray God the biblical promise is true,
The poor ye shall always have with you.

Riaz Haq said...

India(49) has more than twice as many billionaires as Japan (22) which is a far richer country.

Indian and UNICEF officials concur that Indians are much worse off than Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in basic nutrition and sanitation.

Meanwhile, India is worse than Bangladesh and Pakistan when it comes to nourishment and is showing little improvement in the area despite big money being spent on it, says Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed.

India might be an emerging economic power, but it is way behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Afghanistan in providing basic sanitation facilities, a key reason behind the death of 2.1 million children under five in the country.Lizette Burgers, chief water and environment sanitation of the UNICEF, said India is making progress in providing sanitation but it lags behind most of the other countries in South Asia.

Most of the 8-9% growth has fattened the bottom line of a small percentage of India's population, with the rest getting poorer. India's Gini Index has increased from about 32 to 36 from 2000 to 2007.

India now has 100 million more people living below the poverty line than in 2004, according to official estimates released on Sunday. The poverty rate has risen to 37.2 percent of the population from 27.5 percent in 2004, according to a Reuters report.

The rising gap between abject poverty and obscene wealth in India is fueling anger, and insurgencies such as the Maoists'.

Riaz Haq said...

More people in India, the world’s second most crowded country, have access to a mobile telephone than to a toilet, according to a set of recommendations released today by United Nations University (UNU) on how to cut the number of people with inadequate sanitation.

“It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, about half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet,” said Zafar Adeel, Director of United Nations University's Institute for Water, Environment and Health (IWEH), and chair of UN-Water, a coordinating body for water-related work at 27 UN agencies and their partners.

India has some 545 million cell phones, enough to serve about 45 per cent of the population, but only about 366 million people or 31 per cent of the population had access to improved sanitation in 2008.

The recommendations released today are meant to accelerate the pace towards reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on halving the proportion of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation.

If current global trends continue, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) predict there will be a shortfall of 1 billion persons from that sanitation goal by the target date of 2015.

“Anyone who shirks the topic as repugnant, minimizes it as undignified, or considers unworthy those in need should let others take over for the sake of 1.5 million children and countless others killed each year by contaminated water and unhealthy sanitation,” said Mr. Adeel.

Included in the nine recommendations are the suggestions to adjust the MDG target from a 50 per cent improvement by 2015 to 100 per cent coverage by 2025; and to reassign official development assistance equal to 0.002 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to sanitation.

The UNU report cites a rough cost of $300 to build a toilet, including labour, materials and advice.

“The world can expect, however, a return of between $3 and $34 for every dollar spent on sanitation, realized through reduced poverty and health costs and higher productivity – an economic and humanitarian opportunity of historic proportions,” added Mr. Adeel.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=34369&Cr=mdg&Cr1#

http://finalizations.com/sewage-water-pollution-and-its-environmental-effects.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report about India considering declining British aid:

The Indian government is debating whether it should still accept any development aid from Britain.

India is currently the biggest recipient of UK development aid, receiving more than £800m (about $1.25bn) over the three years to 2011.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told the BBC no final decision had been made.

Britain's Department for International Development (DfID) says it is reviewing its spending, and close dialogue with the Indian government will continue.

The BBC's Chris Morris in Delhi says there are those who argue that a country like India, which has an economy growing at nearly 10% a year and a massive defence budget, simply does not need British development assistance.

On the other hand, nearly half a billion people in India are still desperately poor and efforts to reduce global poverty will make no significant progress if those figures do not improve, our correspondent says.
Leaked memo

An internal memo - written by Mrs Rao and leaked to a local newspaper - appeared to suggest that India had already decided it did not want any more development aid from Britain after April next year.

But Mrs Rao says the quotes used have been taken out of context.

She admits that there is a debate within government about whether any development aid is still needed. But no decision has been taken, and there will be full consultation with London.

British officials say the tone of the leaked memo does not reflect what they are hearing from the rest of the Indian government.

When Prime Minister David Cameron met his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in Delhi recently, it was agreed that no-one would make a decision about giving or receiving development aid without a proper consultation process.

Britain is already reviewing its development budget, and re-examining its priorities.

"All DfID's country programmes are currently under review to ensure our aid helps the poorest people in the poorest countries," a spokesperson in London said.

India's Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, told parliament recently that India would prefer to voluntarily surrender money if Britain made a decision to cut aid.

So as well as financial considerations in both countries, there is an element of national pride at stake, our correspondent says - if Britain decides to cut aid to India, Delhi may say it does not want the money anyway.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11318342

Riaz Haq said...

India has decided to stop receiving British aid starting in April, 2011.

This is a pre-emtive move by India because the Brits had told Indians they were going to announce cuts in aid anyway as part of budget cuts in London.

This aid cut will hurt India's poor the most with less food and even fewer toilets for their growing numbers.

Here's an Indian Express report:

The External Affairs Ministry has instructed the Finance Ministry to inform London that India will not accept further aid from next April.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told the ministry that “internal discussions” within UK’s Department for International Development — which accounts for over 80% of all bilateral aid to India — were “to limit the aid further and channelise it to specific projects of their choice in certain states instead of routing it through the Central government”.

“Rather than wait for such a situation to develop... it would be better if our decision not to avail any further DFID assistance with effect from 1st April 2011 could be conveyed to the British side in an appropriate manner at the earliest,” she wrote to Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla.

Ahead of Cameron’s visit, India had considered rejecting DFID offer in view of the “negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID”.

Riaz Haq said...

Since 1998, India has received more British aid than any other country, a total of £1.5bn in the last five years, according The Gurdian:

Here is a country which, as Andrew Mitchell, the UK secretary for international development, puts it, "is roaring out of poverty". It is the 11th largest economy in the world. It is spending $31.5bn on its defence budget and $1.25bn on a space programme. So why, in these cash-strapped times, is the British government giving aid to India?


This issue will be considered by the UK parliament's select committee on international development this week, and is likely to prompt some discussion on the blogosphere (Andy Sumner, from the IDS has blogged on it). It is a key question in the international development department's internal review – which is due to be published shortly – and there has even been some speculation in India that the UK deliberations could be shortcircuited by India itself deciding it no longer wants British aid.


This should be a straightforward issue – but beware, it's no such thing. One key expert admitted to me that they change their minds from backing to ending aid to India every other day. Nor is it a trivial issue. Since 1998, India has received more British aid than any other country, a total of £1.5bn in the last five years. India counts as one of 22 UK priority countries in its aid programmes. A lot of money is at stake.


For a group of Conservatives, India is a prime example for their "charity begins and ends at home" approach. When Mitchell came into office, he made great fanfare about cutting aid programmes to China and Russia; allegedly, some in his department wanted to add India to that list but No 10 prevailed. India is still regarded by the UK public as a poor country, despite its recent economic growth and global power.


And the truth is, that perception is absolutely accurate. A third of the world's poor live in India – more than all those designated as poor living in sub-Saharan Africa. Shockingly, half of all Indian children are malnourished. This poverty is concentrated in just four Indian states, which account for one-fifth of the world's poor. So if aid is about relieving poverty, UK aid to India is entirely justified.


Some hopeful observers point to a new determination on the part of India's ruling elite to tackle poverty. Sonia Gandhi recently chaired a two-day seminar with the US economist Joseph Stiglitz on how to provide universal "social policy coverage" – basic services in health and education. It was a point made by Gordon Brown in his book Beyond the Crash, when he wrote about the new statutory rights to food and to primary education.


But there is a long way to go, and the sharp inequalities in India present a stark dilemma for those in charge of aid budgets. As many developing economies grow, more and more of the world's poorest are in middle-income countries. As Sumner has pointed out in his argument on the new bottom billion, 72% of the world's poorest are in middle-income countries.


Increasingly, much of the world's poverty is a result of inequality, rather than the conventional model of countries caught in a poverty trap, and the role of aid in helping to spring the trap. That presents a real challenge to state aid agencies: how do they justify taking their taxpayers' money to send aid to countries where a hugely wealthy elite is benefiting from an economic boom and failing to meet the challenge of distributing wealth? Aren't India's poor their responsibility?...

Anonymous said...

It seems the British press loves asking this question with a fair amount of regularity lately.
Just today the Telegraph reported that Prince Charles’ charity is spending a few million pounds on building eco-friendly homes for 15,000 slum-dwellers in India. Meanwhile the Guardian is wondering whether India will make a bold and symbolic statement by refusing the 250 million pounds in aid it receives from the UK annually.
Here is a country [India] which, as Andrew Mitchell, the UK secretary for international development, puts it, “is roaring out of poverty”. It is the 11th largest economy in the world. It is spending $31.5bn on its defence budget and $1.25bn on a space programme. So why, in these cash-strapped times, is the British government giving aid to India?
If only India’s 400+ million people living in dire poverty could learn to subsist on a diet of ammunition and rocket fuel.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from a Daily Mail story on cash-strapped UK's decision to extend $1.5 billion in aid to India:

So why has the Government just changed its mind, and decided to give £1 billion in aid to India over the next three years, making in the largest single recipient of our largesse?

At a time of cutbacks I struggle to understand the case for increasing aid even to the poorest countries. In the case of India, I find it impossible to grasp why we should think it desirable to shell out £1 billion to the fourth- largest economy in the world.

Could it be post-colonial guilt? If so, it is misplaced. When Britain left the country in 1947, India was the 12th-largest industrial power in the world, and had the most extensive railway system in Asia. It was the semi-socialist policies applied for the next 40 years that held India back until free market reforms began to transform it.
----------
Perhaps Mr Obama knows something I don’t, but I wasn’t aware that in the Twenties and Thirties the Raj employed a huge secret police force and used widespread torture.

-------
Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, denied this was a motive during an interview yesterday morning on Radio 4’s Today Programme. I hope he meant it. India will trade with us if we are able to produce goods and services which its people want to buy.

More likely, there is an outdated sense that it is our duty to disburse funds to the supposedly less fortunate — rather like an impoverished parent continuing to subsidise children who have grown much wealthier, and are more than capable of getting by on their own. I suspect that giving so much money makes us feel more important than we really are.

The decision is so apparently senseless that it is almost impossible to unravel. What makes it more senseless still is that the Indian government has signalled that it would not object if British aid were ended. There would be no hard feelings. India can look after itself. One of its senior diplomats is reported by The Times as saying: ‘We will help if you want to withdraw.’

----------

No one disputes that, despite its phenomenal growth, India still has countless millions of poor people, though many fewer than it used to have. Its population, after all, is many times greater than ours. But despite its challenges with poverty, it spends some £20 billion a year on defence, not much less than Britain, and is a nuclear power. It also splashes out about £1.5 billion a year on its space programme, a luxury which this country cannot afford.

Arguably India should be spending less on defence, and nothing on its space programme, and be diverting more funds to the alleviation of poverty. But the country is a democracy, and its government will be held to account for the decisions it makes. It is hardly our business if India wants to spend so much money on a space programme.

But surely it is madness for us to be channelling precious funds to a country which chooses to have prestige projects that are beyond our own means.
------------
It was the Tories, not the Lib Dems, who decided that international aid should not only be ‘ring-fenced’ but increased by a third to £11.5 billion by 2015 while domestic budgets, apart from the NHS, are being slashed. This was a controversial decision in view of the ineffectiveness of much development aid, not to mention the corruption that sometimes surrounds it.

India, although a democracy, is by no means corruption-free. A report by the country’s auditor general, seen by the Mail last September, revealed widespread aid abuses, including wasting money on thousands of colour televisions and computers that were never used, and several instances of fraud amounting to millions of pounds.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Telegraph India report on how the British govt is defending continuing aid to India:

London, Feb 16: The UK government today said it was making changes to its aid programme to India following popular anger that helping one of the fastest growing economies in the world is “unjustifiable”.

“From now on in India we will focus our support on three of the poorest states,” said Chris Mitchell, the international development secretary.

Bengal will be cut out for Britain considers Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar to be the poorest states.

Speaking during “International Development Questions” in the House of Commons, Mitchell was forced to respond to critics such as Tory MP Philip Davies.

“India spends 36 billion dollars a year on defence, 750 million dollars a year on a space programme, has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is developing its own overseas aid programme,” said Davies, who represents Shipley. “Many of my constituents, given that we are having to cut public expenditure in this country, will think such aid to India is now unjustifiable.” UK aid is worth £280 million a year for four years.

Mitchell said UK aid was “in transition” and added: “Our programme will change to reflect the importance of the role of the private sector and private enterprise.”

He explained: “There are more poor people in India than in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. We should focus on the poorest areas, particularly on the roles of girls and women.”

He told MPs that 60 million children had enrolled in Indian schools since 2006. “That’s a tremendous tribute to the work of the Indian government, but it would not have been possible without the intervention of British aid and support.”

Some MPs spoke up for the need to continue with the aid, among them Labour’s Barry Gardiner whose constituency of Brent North in north London has many people of Gujarati origin. He argued the help was “vital” and told the Commons a quarter of the world’s poorest people lived in India.

The children’s charity body Plan International also defended British aid to India.

“The fact that eight Indian states account for more poor people than in 26 of Africa’s poorest countries combined shows there’s a need for aid in India,” its head of advocacy Adam Short said.

“In spite of its economic successes, India is home to 421 million poor people. We work with more than a million children in the country’s least developed communities. Through our work on child welfare, education and health, we know how vitally important it is to ensure aid reaches the most marginalised children and communities.”

Marxist economist Lord Meghnad Desai could be relied upon to take a distinctive line.

In an interview to The Telegraph, Desai said: “The truth is India does not need the money but the experts at DFID (Department for International Development) are better at getting through to the health and educational sectors than the government of India.”

“It is a criticism of the government of India that it cannot manage to do in its own backyards what other people can do. It should commission DFID to do the work and pay them for it.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a BBC report on British aid to India:

The government is expected to freeze the level of assistance given to India at £295m ($480m) a year. But why does a nuclear power with its own space programme need British aid?

In a widely-signalled move, it is anticipated that International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell will announce the amount of aid given to India will be maintained at 2009/10 levels.

But the decision has attracted criticism from newspapers and politicians who say the UK taxpayer does not need to donate to a state that is itself a foreign aid donor, which is classified by the World Bank as a middle income country (MIC) and whose economy is growing at nearly 10% a year.

However, advocates of aid say a third of the planet's population who are below the World Bank's extreme poverty line live in India. They also argue half of all children in the country are malnourished and it does not have the tax base to eliminate poverty though internal wealth redistribution.

Andy Sumner of the Institute of Development Studies says: "If UK aid was reduced, there is no guarantee that the funding to the poorest states where most of India's chronically poor live would be topped up by the Indian government."

Although the Department for International Development's budget has been unaffected by the government's spending cuts programme, the UK is expected to stop direct aid to 16 countries, including Russia, China, Vietnam, Serbia and Iraq.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12607537

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan could replace India as the biggest recipient of British bilateral aid, according to the Guardian newspaper:

Britain is to stop sending direct aid to Burundi and Niger, two of the world's poorest countries, the government announced as it unveiled plans to rebalance the £8.4bn international development budget.

The two African nations, which are ranked second and fourth respectively in a World Bank list of the world's poorest states, are among 16 countries that will no longer receive bilateral aid from Britain by 2016. Direct aid will also be halted to Lesotho which is ranked 28th on the World Bank list.

Burundi, a landlocked country in the unstable Great Lakes region of Africa, is still suffering from the consequences of the Hutu-Tutsi massacres in the 1990s when 200,000 of its citizens died. Niger, a landlocked country in west Africa, depends on foreign aid for half of the government's budget.

The cuts were outlined to MPs by Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, as he unveiled the conclusions of two reviews into Britain's bilateral and multilateral aid programmes. Cutting aid to the 16 countries would allow Britain to concentrate its resources on 27 countries which include Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Africa.
---------
Ethiopia will become the biggest recipient of bilateral aid over the next two years. Pakistan could become the biggest recipient of British aid within three years, with a major focus on education, British officials in Islamabad said, but only if the government reduces chronic corruption.

Just 56% of Pakistani children between five and nine years' old attend primary school, a rate that British officials want to boost to the world average of 87%. But the school system is chronically dysfunctional due to political interference, "ghost schools" and unqualified teachers. "It's an education emergency," said one official.

As well as reducing graft, British officials want to see Pakistan increase its tax collection, currrently at a disastrously low rate of nine per cent of GDP with many parliamentarians paying little tax. The Pakistani government has vowed to improve education spending from two per cent GDP to seven per cent.

British officials said they recognised that British aid was a "drop in the bucket" in a country of 180 million people, but hoped that a targeted aid programme could "catalyse change" in critical areas like education.

Direct financial transfers to the Pakistani exchequer, which amounted to £120 million over four years under the last aid programme, are likely to be scrapped, officials said.

Riaz Haq said...

British Prime Minister David Cameron, now on a visit to Pakistan, has offered about $1 billion in aid for education, according to Financial Times:

Please respect FT.com's ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc68ce4c-5f91-11e0-bd1b-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1IfKt9DJ6

David Cameron offered Pakistan’s leaders up to £650m ($1,055m) of aid for schools and heaped praise on their “huge fight” against terrorism in a diplomatic gamble to end years of mutual mistrust with a gesture of goodwill.

During a confidence-building visit to Islamabad with an entourage of his most senior security advisers, Mr Cameron jettisoned the usual list of UK demands and instead gave Pakistan the benefit of the doubt over Afghanistan and its support for militant groups.

Please respect FT.com's ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc68ce4c-5f91-11e0-bd1b-00144feab49a.html#ixzz1IfLC3dkM

Such optimism over Islamabad’s intentions marks a big break in British diplomacy, making a stark contrast with Mr Cameron’s description of Pakistan “looking both ways” on terrorism, a remark that triggered a serious diplomatic incident last year.

Rather than regarding Pakistan as a country that “can do more”, particularly on curbing Taliban activities, the British assumption is now that Islamabad’s security agencies have limited control over militant groups they once helped to create.

The big test for Mr Cameron is whether his expression of trust can generate better results than the more transactional approach adopted in the past. British officials say they are already seeing tangible improvements in intelligence co-operation and a greater willingness to discuss a political peace deal in Afghanistan.

Mr Cameron sought to demonstrate the breadth of the new partnership by offering funds for up to 4m school places by 2015. “I struggle to find a country that’s more in our interest to progress and succeed than Pakistan,” Mr Cameron said after a meeting with Yusuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister.

“If Pakistan succeeds then we will have a good story ... if it fails we will have all the problems of migration and extremism, all the problems.”

The package of up to £650m, which more than doubles previous education funding, forms part of an aid programme that is set to become Britain’s biggest.
----------
The centrepiece of Mr Cameron’s visit was a security round-table with Pakistan’s civilian leadership and General Ashfaq Kayani, its military chief. Sir John Sawers, head of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and General Sir David Richards, chief of the defence staff, also attended, in their second visit to Islamabad in less than a month.

Mr Gilani later brushed aside questions over Pakistan’s willingness to combat terrorism. “We’ve the ability and we have the resolve and we are fighting and we’ve paid a very heavy price for that,” he said, citing the 30,000 casualties in Pakistan’s effort to quell an internal insurgency.

One senior Pakistani government official speaking after Mr Cameron’s meetings said closer security ties would take some more time to develop. “Clearly, the UK wants Pakistan to extend help to combat militant plots on British soil,” he said. “But the UK will also need to be much more forthcoming on helping Pakistan to go after members of its own militant groups from places like Baluchistan who have taken refuge in Britain.”

Riaz Haq said...

Is India too wealthy for British aid? asks the BBC:

Bihar children being fed under a government scheme More than a million children in Bihar suffer from severe malnutrition
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories

* How UK overseas aid will be spent
* 'More poor' in India than Africa
* Ignoring India's 'republic of hunger'

Britain's decision to give £280m ($457m) in annual aid to India for the next four years has prompted questions in the UK about whether India needs the aid these days. The BBC's Geeta Pandey travels to the northern state of Bihar to see where a sizeable chunk of the British money will be spent.

About two dozen children squat in a narrow lane separating mud and brick homes in Madhaopur village.

It's a hot sunny afternoon and the children sit facing each other, hugging the wall where a thin sliver of shade keeps them out of direct sunshine.

A woman puts steel plates in front of each child, another ladles out khichdi - a rice and lentil dish - onto each plate.

Within minutes, the chattering ceases and the children begin to eat hungrily, scooping out khichdi with their hands and putting it in their mouths.

Ideally, the children should be served inside the Anganwadi (government sponsored child development) centre, but the pokey, window-less room that passes for the centre is too small to accommodate them all.
'Malnourished'

The building provides pre-school education to children between three and six years and gives them one cooked meal a day to supplement their nutritional needs.

"Nearly 50% children here are malnourished," says Geeta Verma, who is part of the technical assistance team of DfiD (Department for International Development).
A baby being vaccinated in Bihar DfiD supports vaccination programmes in the villages of Bihar

"They are given a daily meal by the Anganwadi workers. It's a naturally fortified meal - for proteins we use lentils, for micronutrients, we use leafy vegetables," she explains.

Research has shown that the diet in Bihar leaves children with a 300-calorie deficit and this meal aims to bridge that gap.

"This meal provides each child with 300 calories and 10 grams of protein," Ms Verma says.

The team has helped prepare the menu and has been coaching the women in the important role nutrition plays in the physical and mental growth of their children.

In Madhaopur, DfiD is also supervising and assisting with immunisation of babies and has helped with a project to teach illiterate women.
'Too wealthy?'

Since being opened up in 1991, the Indian economy has grown rapidly. And at a time when most economies around the world are in recession, India's continues to grow at an enviable 9%. This has helped lift millions out of poverty.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote
Sangeeta Kumari

Bluntly speaking we are struggling for existence, we are trying to perform our best in the midst of a crisis. We have very poor infrastructure.”

End Quote Sangeeta Kumari Bihar government official

This has led to some in the UK wondering if India is too wealthy to qualify for receiving aid. They say the £280m could be put to better use in Britain where the economy is ailing and many services are being cut back.

Critics also point out that India has 69 dollar billionaires; it has its own space programme; plans to send a man to the Moon; spends billions of dollars annually on defence; and even has its own overseas aid programme.

But India has its areas of darkness too - according to World Bank estimates, 456 million live on less than $1.25 a day; tens of millions of children suffer from acute malnutrition; millions of Indians are illiterate; hundreds of thousands continue to die of totally preventable causes; and eight million children remain out of school.....

Riaz Haq said...

India depends heavily on foreign inflows to survive, given its huge and perennial trade, budget and current account deficits.

India is the biggest borrower from multi-lateral lending institutions.

According to the statistics of World Bank, India has become the largest borrower from the International Development Association (IDA), a component of World Bank Group which helps the poorest countries of the world.

Among the bank’s FY10 Top Ten IDA borrowing countries, India tops the table with $ 2,578 million, followed by Vietnam ($ 1,429 million), Tanzania ($ 943 million), Ethiopia and Nigeria with $ 890 million each, Bangladesh ($ 828 million), Kenya ($ 614 million), Uganda ($ 480 million), Democratic Republic of Congo ($ 460 million) and Ghana (433 million).

IDA, termed as ‘Soft Loan Window’ of the World Bank, was established in 1960 with the aim to reduce poverty by lending money (known as credits) on concessional terms. IDA credits have no interest charge and the repayment period ranges between 35 to 40 years. IDA is the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 79 poorest countries, 39 of which come from Africa. Not only with IDA, India is also the third largest borrower of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a part of World Bank group with a total loan of $ 21.9 billion which have financed 77 projects in the country.

Among various states in India, Tamil Nadu hold the maximum assistance of $ 2.1 billion from the World Bank to support its six on-going projects.

http://www.gscurrentaffairs.com/india-becomes-largest-borrower-of-ida/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a Time magazine story on NGO spending in India:

With 3.3 million registered NGOs, India's nonprofit sector raises between $8 billion and $16 billion in funding every year. According to Home Ministry statistics, foreign funding to Indian NGOs saw a 56% increase in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 fiscal years. In 2008, the latest available data, the total official foreign aid to India was $2.15 billion.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2036307,00.html#ixzz1SfGSmZ8T

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting News International story on Pakistan as an international aid donor:

Pakistan’s contributions to mitigate the suffering of the countries hit by natural calamities are not only commendable but also helped Islamabad a lot to safeguard its economic interests. Sri Lanka, China, Iran, Nepal, Maldives and Afghanistan are the countries where Pakistan did a lot on humanitarian front and also managed to keep its say in the said countries.

As far as Afghanistan is concerned, Pakistan during the Musharraf regime announced the $300 million (over Rs 25.5 billion) grant for various projects out of which Pakistan has so far doled out $ 175 million (Rs 12 billion) since the announcement of the then President Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Kabul.

However, in 2009-10, according to Additional Secretary at Finance Ministry Mr Rana Asad Amin, Pakistan provided Rs 2 billion to Afghanistan to complete the various projects. Likewise, Rs 2.5 billion each allocated to Afghanistan in 2010-11 and current financial year 2011-12.

And in the future Pakistan will keep on doling out the amount to Afghanistan under the pledged $ 300 million grant. The Emergency Relief Fund Data is an eye opener for those who deem Pakistan did not play its role on the humanitarian front which is vital to keep its economic interests intact.

According to Emergency Relief Fund data, Pakistan in 2003 donated Rs 53.9 million in the shape of kind in to to to four countries that include Rs 1.72 million to Sri Lanka for flood victims, Rs 10.9 million to Algeria for earthquake victims and Rs 2.6 million to China for fight against sars and Rs 38.7 million to Iraq for war victims.

In 2004, Pakistan again donated Rs 171 million in kinds to four countries that include Rs 140.8 million go Iran for earthquake victims, Rs 3 million for Sri Lanka for drought victims, Rs 9.8 million to Afghanistan for food shortage and Rs 18.2 million to Bangladesh for flood victims.

However, when catastrophic tsunami badly hit Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Maldives in 2005, Pakistan came up with a bang and helped the said countries on big way and donated Rs 668 million for the said three countries. In addition Pakistan also extended the donation of Rs 26.3 million in kind to Comoros in the head od food assistance.

In 2006, Pakistan bequeathed Rs197.8 million to three countries including Rs 7.7 million in kind to Iran for earthquake victims, Rs 92.2 million to Indonesia also for earthquake victims and Rs 97.9 million to Lebanon for war affected people.

In 2007, China was provided Rs 1.875 million in kind for flood affected people, Bangladesh given Rs 72.19 million for cyclone affected people. However, Pakistan in 2008 donated Rs 5 million to Myanmar for cyclone affected people, and Rs 160.503 million to China for earthquake affected people and Rs 1.153 million to Nepal for flood victims.

And in 2009, Pakistan provided Rs 33.338 million in kind to Palestinians of Gaza. In addition, in 2008, Pakistan also provided Rs 81 million in kind to Cuba for hurricane affected people. As far as Pakistan’s authorities are concerned, they managed to ink trade deals with China and Sri Lanka with which Pakistan also possess the in-depth strategic relations.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=61681&Cat=2

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an APP report on Japanese assistance to Pakistan:

Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan Hiroshi Oe on Sunday said "National Transmission Lines and Grid Stations Strengthening Project" of Japan worth Rs30 billion, will help Pakistan save electricity used in about 2 million average households.

In an interview with APP, he said Pak-Japan project, soon after its completion, will help Pakistan in overcoming its growing energy demand.

About the major projects initiated by the Japan government, he said that Japan has been a major contributor to the development of social sectors in Pakistan.

Japan's assistance to Pakistan has added up to 1.3 trillion yen (approx. 1.5 trillion rupees) since 1954, the ambassador said.

Japan has provided technical assistance to Pakistan by receiving trainees under the Colombo Plan and provided technical training or study opportunities to over five thousand Pakistanis in Japan, he added.

He said Japan has built up about 530 schools and 130 hospitals, clinics and provided medical equipment under various Japanese assistance programmes.

To a question, he said about 30 Japanese companies are operating in Pakistan including joint ventures with Pakistani companies related to automobiles, motorcycles and service industries such as constructors, IPPs, financial institutions and trading houses.

Considering the vast potentials in Pak-Japan bilateral relationship, he said there is much more work to be done, and therefore, he cannot be complacent about the current status of ties.

Highlighting the need to enhance the potential of manpower in Japan for Pakistani youth, he said trade opportunities with Japan must expand and interactions with Japan will surely provide vast opportunities to the youth of Pakistan.

To a question, he said Pakistan is an important partner in the area of parliamentarians' exchanges.

Both the countries have Japan-Pakistan friendship groups respectively, consisting of parliamentarians from each country, working to enhance their regular interactions.

In September 2011, when the Japanese Parliamentary League for Polio Eradication visited Pakistan, they discussed the need for promoting interactions between parliamentarians of the two countries during their meeting with Pakistani parliamentarians, he said.

The ambassador expressed his determination to make utmost efforts to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, focusing on the promotion of parliamentarians' exchanges of our two countries.

About the Pak-Japan cultural ties, Hiroshi Oe said Japan Embassy holds cultural events such as Ikebana workshop and demonstration, children's art and speech competition and Japan film festival throughout the year across the Pakistan.

The ambassador said JICA has been helping National Institute of Science and Technological Education (NISTE) to train science teachers who will surely play a vital role in utilizing Japanese technology in Pakistan in the future.

He said that he visited Sialkot last year and found the world's top-class manufacturing industries there. He hoped that with proper quality control and marketing, Pakistan will develop even more industries of such standard.

The year 2012 is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan,the Ambassador added.

Hiroshi Oe emphasized on promoting human and cultural exchanges to deepen mutual understanding between the two countries and expressed wish to work with the Pakistani government to further deepen the bilateral cooperative relations.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/108-pakistan-top-news/51454-japans-grid-stations-project-to-help-save-electricity-of-2mn-house-holds-ambassador-.html

HopeWins said...

Dr. Haq,

I agree with you that these half-baked, poorly-educated Indian Code Coolies have a vastly exaggerated opinion of themselves and their dirt-poor country.

But we must be more understanding of why they are like that. As the French say, "to understand is to forgive". What we are witnessing is called the "OVERCOMPENSATION" syndrome. In effect, they are so ashamed of the poverty of their parents that they tend to overcompensate by showing-off (conspicuous consumption) their newly acquired wealth (however little that might be). They are also so ashamed of the backwardness and illiteracy of their country, that they overcompensate by exaggerating their country's achievements.

There is nothing unusual about all this, as this is just a part of human nature everywhere. It has been extensively studied by Sociologists & Psychologists all over the world. In fact, you will see the same behaviour amongst 1st and 2nd generation Mexicans/Central-Americans in the US, especially when they come from uneducated and poor family backgrounds. You could even say the same of the hyper-nationalist, loud Chinese from Mainland China who irritate the hell out of the people in Hong-Kong.

Now that we have understood why they are like that and why they irritate everybody else, we can be more forgiving and just ignore the lound noises coming from these empty Indian vessels. Kuttay tau bhownktay hain, Hum kutton par kyon bhownkay?

On another issue, while it is true that India is light-years away from being "resurgent", I do not think that your argument about Foreign Aid here is correct. Here are some data to consider--

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/bangladesh/net-oda-received-per-capita-us-dollar-wb-data.html
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/india/net-oda-received-per-capita-us-dollar-wb-data.html
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/pakistan/net-oda-received-per-capita-us-dollar-wb-data.html
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/sri-lanka/net-oda-received-per-capita-us-dollar-wb-data.html
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/nepal/net-oda-received-per-capita-us-dollar-wb-data.html
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/afghanistan/net-oda-received-per-capita-us-dollar-wb-data.html

Approximate AVERAGE (over 50-years) ANNUAL NET ODA received per capita in--
Bangladesh: 10$
India: 2$
Pakistan: 10$
Nepal: 15$
Sri-Lanka: 30$

This is why the Western Countries have more say in Sri-lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan & Nepal, while they have very little say in India.

These are the facts. I am not comfortable with twisting the facts, even if the intention of twisting them is to prove the truth. The ends are important, but so are the means. We must not fall into the temptation of trying to establish the truth using prevarications-- that never works in the long run.

I will leave you to ponder this issue.

Thank you.

HopeWins said...

Dr. Haq,

To continue my previous comment on the topic of relative levels of Aid, perphaps it would also be good to consider the following---

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/pakistan/net-oda-received-percent-of-gross-capital-formation-wb-data.html

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/pakistan/net-oda-received-percent-of-central-government-expense-wb-data.html

You can check the same for all the other countries in South Asia yourself by merely changing the name of the country in the URL. The data show that:

As of 2009, the Net ODA received as a % of gross capital formation in--

Nepal: 20.93%
India: 0.5%
Bangladesh: 5.63%
Pakistan: 9.43%
Sri-Lanka: 6.85%

This indicates that our country is even more dependent than Bangladesh on foreign Aid for capital formation (internal investment). This seemingly strange situation arises from the fact that our Gross Domestic Savings are much lower than in Bangladesh.

Still further, to see how dependent GOVERNMENT (not the country per se) is on foreign aid, consider that as of 2009, the Net ODA received as a % of central government expense in--

Nepal: 34.6%
India: 1.1%
Bangladesh: 12.1%
Pakistan: 10.2%
Sri-Lanka: 9.3%

This indicates that our GOVERNMENT is almost just dependent as the Bangladesh Government on foreign Aid for meeting its expenses. Again, note the effect of the policy of "non-alignment" on the Indian Goverments lack of dependency on the West-- this is something we did not do because Ayub aligned himself with the Western Countries for the sake of free money.

I will leave you to reflect on all of this.

Thank you.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Mail Online story on Kofi Anan calling for aid to India and China:

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan has backed calls for Britain and the EU to stop giving millions of pounds in aid to wealthy countries.

He said booming nations such as China, Brazil and India should wean themselves off development funding so it could be targeted at ‘weaker’ parts of the world instead.

His comments come after International Development Secretary Justine Greening called for the European Union to stop giving aid to relatively rich nations.

She travelled to Luxembourg last week to say it is wrong that the EU’s aid fund, to which the UK contributes more than £1billion a year, sends money to relatively rich countries such as Barbados, Iceland, China and Brazil.

Britain refuses to fund such countries out of its own aid budget. However, the UK is still sending around £280million a year to India – even though the country can afford its own space programme and its president, Pranab Mukherjee, said in February: ‘We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development expenditure.’

Conservative backbenchers want to see the Coalition drop its pledge to increase spending on foreign aid year-on-year, while cutting funding in every other department apart from the NHS.

In 2014, taxpayers will be forking out £12.6billion a year on foreign aid – more than the £12.1billion it will be spending on the police.

Mr Annan, a Ghanaian who was the UN secretary general from 1997 to 2006, said not all the countries who received aid from British taxpayers needed it.

‘The emerging markets and the countries that are doing well should wean themselves off aid,’ he said.

‘Countries like Brazil, China, India, Ghana, Guatemala and Honduras; some of these countries can fend for themselves.

'In fact I have had the chance to suggest to some of them that they should not accept Britain’s aid willingly. They need to say “We are full enough”, so that there will be more money available for the really poor and weaker.’

A sixth of the money spent by the Department for International Development goes to the EU’s aid programme. Half of this £10billion budget is spent on middle and higher income countries, even though many say they are too wealthy to merit support....


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223855/Stop-giving-millions-aid-richer-countries-like-China-India-says-ex-UN-chief-Kofi-Annan.html

HopeWins Junior said...

Here is an interesting excerpt from a new article in the NYT, November 15 2012:

".....emerging market countries, including India, have themselves become donors to more impoverished countries.

Before a visit this week from President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, aimed at wooing investment, India approved development projects in Afghanistan to the tune of $100 million as part of India’s $2 billion aid package to the war-torn country. In 2010, the country extended a $1 billion line of credit to Bangladesh, the highest ever one-time assistance, and last year, it offered $5 billion in credit to African nations. With a broadening aid portfolio, New Delhi recently announced plans to set up its own aid agency.

For India, once the world’s largest foreign aid recipient, with some $55 billion funneled to the country between 1951 and 1992, the change from recipient to donor comes as the country tries to redefine its role in the international community...."

HERE is the full article--
http://alturl.com/n2udz

HopeWins Junior said...

Our aid dependency is still much higher than neighboring countries.
This is exactly what I have been saying.

QUOTE March 08, 2013:

FOREIGN AID Pakistan has received enormous amounts of foreign aid over the last half century or so. Both in per capita terms in constant dollars and as a percentage of Gross National Income the net official development assistance was at a peak in the 1960s but has continued to decline as repayments on all except grant aid have naturally continued to climb. Even so net ODA during the last decade was 1.7 percent of GDP close to 10 percent of gross fixed investment. As the following table shows relative foreign aid availability in relation to national income in Pakistan compared to that in India was fourfold in the 1980s and during the last decade the difference has grown to more than eightfold. The more important point is that aid flows are no longer significant in India for sustaining its quite high rate of investment and growth whereas Pakistan's growth and investment are in serious doldrums and the country is far from reviving sustained high growth on its own.

The more serious problem has been that large external flows (foreign aid in the 1960 and 1970s, worker remittances in the 1980s, resident foreign currency deposits in the 1990s and direct private investment in 2003-08) reduced incentives for export development on the one hand, and on the other hand enabled policymakers to avoid difficult choices between consumption and savings. Judging from the long-term trends of gross capital formation, and the foreign savings available to finance the current account balance of payments deficits it would appear that gross national savings that averaged 14-15 percent of GDP in 1980s and first half of 1990s have shown no clear upward trend. After a brief spurt over 20 percent of GDP during 2002-4, the gross national savings have dropped almost steadily since then and touched a low level of 13 percent of GDP in FY 2012.

READMORE: http://alturl.com/7twd2