India steeply increases aid to Maldives

India has increased its aid budget for the Maldives more than sixfold this year.

According to the budget of India’s Ministry of External Affairs for 2015-16, the country allocated INR 250m (US $4m, MVR 61.6m)  for Maldives last year, but this year the figure will shoot up to INR 1.83bn (US $30m, MVR 450m).

Objectives for the Maldives include setting up a police academy and the construction of a composite training centre in Male’, the budget says.

“A large proportion of the budget of the ministry is allocated towards technical assistance programmes in neighbouring countries and other developing countries,” said the budget.

Countries receiving Indian aid and loans include Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, African countries, Latin American countries and Eurasian countries.

India will be giving INR 6.76bn (US $110m, MVR 1.67bn) to Afghanistan this year, less than last year’s INR7.1bn, as New Delhi seeks to help the war-torn country rebuild.