Amidst diplomatic standoff, India cuts financial assistance to Maldives by 22%
The India-Maldives diplomatic tensions are set to rise once again after India made its latest move by reducing the development aid allocation to Maldives in their latest financial budget. This comes after both sides faced off against each other post Modi's island tourism push in India.
Just when the masses thought that the India-Maldives diplomatic tension was boiling down, New Delhi made the next move. December was the toughest phase in the relations between India and Maldives after shrewd comments were passed by 3 Maldives ministers for Narendra Modi and Indians.
This came after the Indian Prime Minister's visit to the Lakshadweep islands which triggered Maldives. The small island nation has been a forefront tourism magnet in the region due to its serene beauty. Indians up until December 2023 were contributing to the Maldivian tourism sector the most by sending the highest number of tourists.
However, Maldives felt insecure when the Indian PM visited Lakshadweep and highlighted the beauty of the Indian island. A range of stand-offs took place which has shrunk the cooperation between the two neighbors. The Indian government highlighted their displeasure by cutting aid to Maldives in their budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
In the financial budget presented by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the government cut the assistance aid to their latest adversary by 22 percent. India has a development assistance policy focusing on another Neighbour first policy. Through this policy, the South Asian giant bailed out Sri Lanka multiple times in the current economic crisis.
As per the latest data, Maldives will see itself getting ₹600 crore in the upcoming fiscal year. A reduction of ₹170 crore has been seen through the budget. Many in the Indian social media world weren't happy about India even providing development assistance aid to the Maldives. However, diplomacy is a long-term game and short-sightedness has no place in it.
Governments come and go but relations remain forever. Bhutan has got the lion's share of Indian development aid. The small nation will get ₹2,068 crore aid which is the biggest among India's neighbors. In the previous year, Bhutan got ₹18,050 crore in aid from India.