Lesser budgetary allocation not to affect MEA: Official

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New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Though the budgetary allocation for the external affairs ministry is lesser this year as compared to last year, its programmes were unlikely to be affected as this can always be revisited in the revised budget estimates, a senior ministry official said on Thursday.

“It is a fact that our budget has been reduced by Rs.500 crore if you add particularly the ministry of overseas Indian affairs which has now been merged with the ministry of external affairs,” ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said at a media briefing here.

“But having said that, let me say that the budget-making exercise is not a one-shot exercise,” he said, adding that the process was now at the budget estimates stage.

However, he said the ministry would continue with all its aid programmes for all the neighbouring countries, including the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and development partnership programmes.

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“If we do feel that we have need for additional funds, then at the revised estimates stage, we will seek those additional funds,” Swarup said.

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