Over Rs 16,000 crore has been earmarked for the Ministry of External Affairs in the 2019-20 budget, an increase of more than Rs 1,000 crore from the previous fiscal, with a massive jump in aid allocation for Maldives and African nations.
The total aid to countries has increased by about Rs 902 crore, from Rs 5,545 crore to Rs 6,447 crore.
Aid allocation for Maldives jumped from Rs 125 crore in 2018-19 to a whopping Rs 575 crore. The revised budget numbers indicate that India spent nearly Rs 440 crore on aid to the island nation in 2018-19.
The aid for the strategically important Chabhar Port remained at Rs 150 crore -- same as in 2018-19.
A sum of over Rs 2,615 crore has been allocated for aid to Bhutan, a slight dip from Rs 2,650 crore earmarked for it last year.
The aid set aside for Afghanistan (Rs 325 crore), Bangladesh (Rs 175 crore), Sri Lanka (Rs 150 crore), and Mongolia (Rs 5 crore) for the 2019-20 fiscal corresponds with last year''s budgetary allocations.
The aid allocation for Nepal rose by about Rs 50 crore to Rs 700 crore in 2019-20, while for Myanmar it increased from Rs 280 crore to Rs 400 crore.
The aid allocation for African countries doubled from last fiscal to Rs 400 crore in the 2019-20 budget. However, revised budget numbers indicate that India spent nearly Rs 330 crore as aid to African nations in 2018-19.
Aid to Mauritius also doubled to Rs 700 crore in the latest financial plan. The revised budget numbers indicate that India spent nearly Rs 660 crore on aid to Mauritius in 2018-19.
The establishment expenditure for the ministry was earmarked at Rs 5,137.95 crore.
The revised budget for 2018-19 showed that Rs 420 crore was spent last fiscal for maintenance of aircraft of Air India for VVIP travel.
The total allocation to the ministry in 2019-20 is Rs 16,061 crore -- an increase of Rs 1,050 crore over last fiscal''s Rs 15,011 crore. The revised budget numbers indicate that the ministry spent 15,582 crore.