Taliban welcomes Indian aid in Budget

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Nakul Shivani | Date 03-02-2023
File image of Taliban leaders
File image of Taliban leaders


New Delhi

The Taliban government in Afghanistan has welcomed India’s union budget for 2023-24 which was presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.

According to local media reports, the incumbent government in Afghanistan has appreciated the announcement of aid to the country by India in its budget. The reaction came after India announced a USD 25 million aid package for the development of Afghanistan.

Sohail Shaheen, the Head of Taliban’s Political Office in Doha said on Thursday that India should severe its ties with the former political dispensation in Afghanistan and deal with the Taliban only.

The Taliban government while welcoming the announcement of aid in the budget said that such gestures will help boost relations and trust between the two countries.

Sohail Shaheen said,”We appreciate India’s development assistance to Afghanistan. It will help in building relations and trust between the two countries.” He further added, “there were many projects in Afghanistan which are being financed by India. If India resumes these projects, it will play a positive role in promoting relations between the two countries and removing mistrust. The people of Afghanistan are suffering from poverty and need these projects more than ever before.”

India played a major role in the construction of the new Afghanistan Parliament building and the India-Afghanistan Friendship Dam in Herat province during the previous regime.

It is noteworthy that India continues to support development efforts in the country despite not officially recognising the Taliban takeover of the country two years ago. Recognising its deep ties with the people of Afghanistan, India has continued to send humanitarian aid to the country including food items and vaccines during the covid pandemic.

In the current budget, the Ministry of External Affairs was allocated 18,050 cr., a 4.64% higher than last year’s allocation of Rs 17,250 cr. In line with the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the highest slice of the grant will go to Bhutan at 2,040 cr. Apart from Bhutan other countries benefitting from the budget allocation for neighbours are Maldives, which has been given an additional Rs 400 cr to fund the ongoing infra projects such as, the Greater Mail Connectivity Project and High Impact Community Development Project.

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The Budget session of Parliament which commenced on Tuesday will break for a recess on February 13 before reconvening on March 12 for a discussion on the Budget.