Mr. Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development (DFID), UK and Mr. Namo Narain Meena, Minister of State (E&FS) met here today to discuss the strategic development cooperation partnership between India and UK.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations between the two countries and agreed to work together to strengthen partnership in all areas of mutual concern.
Earlier this year, it was agreed that DFID would maintain its development cooperation programme in India at £ 280 million (Rs. 2250 crores) annually for the next four years until 2014-15. Both countries reiterated their commitment to ensuring a successful partnership in alignment with national priorities to promote prosperity, combat poverty and facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
UK Secretary of State for International Development assured continuing support through grant assistance for some Centrally Sponsored Schemes as well as for projects currently being implemented in the States of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha. He further stated that the two countries would work together to build on India™s own successful poverty-reduction programmes, and to pilot a new approach to promote private sector investment in low income States which would help improve access to jobs, infrastructure and basic services. The initiative to promote private sector investment in selected low income States has been mutually agreed to be taken forward through Government of India sponsored organizations like SIDBI, on a pilot basis.