/OUTRAGE at India spending £330 MILLION on ‘Status of Unity’ as UK gave £1 Billion in Aid

OUTRAGE at India spending £330 MILLION on ‘Status of Unity’ as UK gave £1 Billion in Aid

While the UK was sending India £1.17billion in aid, the Indian government was spending nearly half that amount on the world’s tallest statue.

This new statue is twice the height of the US’ Statue of Liberty and has been met with condemnation for the large bill that it carried.

Over the 56 months it took to build India’s Statue of Unity, the government spent around £330million of UK taxpayer’s aid.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the statue’s unveiling.

It stands in Mr Modi’s home state of Gujarat at the bend of the Narmada river.

The Prime Minister was the chief minister of Gujarat when the statue was first commissioned.

Construction began in 2015. The UK had sent India nearly £300million in 2012.

Then, in 2013, the UK sent another £268billion followed by £278million in 2014 and £185 million in 2015.

Since then, the UK has sent India smaller sums.

While this money was coming in, India was spending much of it to build the 579ft bronze replica of a hero of India’s independence movement, Sardar Patel.

In response to this, Tory MP Peter Bone said: “To take £1.1billion in aid from us and then at the same time spend £330million on a statue is a total nonsense and it is the sort of thing that drives people mad.

“What it proves is that we should not be giving money to India.

“It is up to them how they spend their money but if they can afford this statue, then it is clearly a country we should not need to be giving aid to.”

The aid money was also spent on various programmes ranging from improving women’s rights to funding solar panels to investment in low-carbon transport.

In 2014, around £14,000 was spent in Gujarat to increase religious tolerance among young people.

While the UK did not directly fund the statue, the money was spent on programmes that the government could not have afforded if they had been using their own money on building the monument.

It took 3,500 workers four years to build and it also saw a massive land-grab that affected 72 nearby villages that, according to tribal chiefs, forced thousand out of their homes.

Upon its unveiling, helicopters flew overhead and dropped rose petals during Mr Modi’s speech.

Britain’s former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said in 2012 that the UK would stop ending India aid in 2015, but £92.6million was sent to India last year.

The UK has funded schemes in India including £86.616 to see if yoga helps people have heart attacks and another £100.000 to bring female scientists from India to Cambridge.

While the Department of International Development has said that it ended its traditional aid to India in 2015, but they are still giving some funding to help boost their economy and to try to counter climate change.

A spokesman said: “The UK now provides world-leading expertise and private investment – while generating a return for the UK – to boost prosperity, create jobs and open up markets, which is firmly in our interests.”