India allocates Rs 200 crore in Budget for development projects in Afghanistan

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In the Union Budget presented in Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has allocated Rs 200 crore as India’s assistance for development projects in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, reported The Statesman.

This is considered significant as India seeks to continue playing an important role in the war-torn nation where it does not even have a diplomatic presence since its takeover by the Taliban in August last year.

In recent months, India has sent several consignments of medicine and humanitarian assistance for the beleaguered people of Afghanistan. It will also soon be dispatching 50000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan.

Sitharaman has also allocated Rs 100 crore for the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran, which provides India a critical transport link to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.

Sitharaman has made an allocation of Rs 900 crore for Mauritius and Rs 600 crore for neighbouring Myanmar, which is currently reeling under civil war since the military coup. Bhutan will continue to get the second largest assistance from India among its neighbours. The Finance Minister has allocated Rs 2266.24 crore to the tiny Himalayan country.

Nepal has been allocated Rs 750 core in the General Budget while the allocation for Bangladesh is Rs 300. The allocation for the Maldives is Rs 360 crore and for Sri Lanka Rs 200 crore.

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