What is the News?
The Indian Government is at present accepting gifts, donations, and aid from foreign nations. This is because, India is facing a massive shortage of oxygen, drugs and related equipment amid a surge in Covid cases.
Foreign Aid to India:
- India is accepting foreign aid for the first time in 16 years. State Governments are also free to procure life-saving devices and medicines from foreign agencies.
- Earlier, India accepted aid from foreign governments several times. It includes the Uttarkashi earthquake (1991), Latur earthquake (1993), Gujarat earthquake (2001), Bengal cyclone (2002) and Bihar floods (July 2004).
- However, the policy changed 16 years ago. India refused to accept foreign aid after the Kashmir earthquake in 2005. It also didn’t accept foreign aid after the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, Kashmir floods in 2014 and Kerala Floods in 2018.
- The Indian government is asking all foreign governments and agencies to donate through the Indian Red Cross Society to the Ministry of Health.
- It is being coordinated by an Empowered Group of Ministers and officials. They will then send it to the states based upon the requests.
What is the issue?
- Countries have raised questions over the lack of a website or transparent system on the Central Government’s use of foreign aid.
- They are asking the Government of India to provide information about the deployment and use of these materials after their transfer.
Source: The Hindu