India is Rich, Says Tory MP Peter Bone: Statue of Unity Issues
Britain donated more than £1 billion to India for building the world’s largest statue “Statue of Unity”. It is already stated that the Statue of Unity is almost twice the height of Statue of Liberty in New York. Knowing this, it was immediately condemned as an expensive vanity project by Tory MP Peter Bone.
It took £330 million to complete the statue and Britain taxpayers donated £1.17 in foreign aid. This project was started in 2012, when British taxpayers donated almost £300million to India. In 2013 £268million was given, in 2014 they gave £278million and in 2015 it was £185million, followed by smaller amounts later.
As the donations are huge from Britain, the Indian authorities had spent millions for the 597ft statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who is one among India’s independent moment.
Tory MP Peter Bone said that taking £1.1billion in aid from us and then at the same time spend £330million on a statue is a total nonsense and it drives people mad.
It proves that we shouldn’t give money to India. It is up to them how they spend their money but if they can afford this statue, it is clear there no need of our aid.
The British aid money was actually spent on different projects ranging from improving women’s rights to funding solar panels and investment in low-carbon transport. Some £14,000 of the cash was spent in Gujarat in 2014, when the statue’s foundations were being laid, to ‘increase religious tolerance among young people’.
India is the world’s fastest-growing economy which has sent a mission to Mars, boasts more billionaires than the UK and itself can donate millions to needy countries.
The British aid money did not go directly to building the statue but was spent funding projects that India could have afforded, if the cash was not spent on the statue.
The Statue of Unity took 3,500 workers four years to construct and it involved a land-grab affecting 72 nearby villages, forcing thousands out of their homes.
Britain’s aid minister in 2012, Andrew Mitchell announced the main aid programme to India would end after 2015. But last year £92.6million was spent by Whitehall officials on projects.
UK-funded schemes included £86,616 on testing whether yoga helps people who have had heart attacks and £100,000 on bringing women scientists from India to visit Cambridge University.