Chapter 19

NORWEGIAN ASSISTANCE

 

Background
19.1 Assistance extended by the Norwegian Government is through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). Norwegian assistance is in the form of a grant.

Areas of Cooperation
19.2 Earlier Norwegian assistance was concentrated in the social sectors. In 1990 the Norwegian Government took a decision to gradually reduce aid to India and to shift their focus on the industrial sector. They continue to give priority to issues relating to the development of women and environment.

Norwegian Aid Policy for India
19.3 The policy of the Norwegian Government on Aid to India has undergone radical change since 1991-92. Previously, approximately 60 per cent of the aid allocated to India was oriented towards social sectors and for eradication of poverty. However, they have now taken a decision to withdraw from these sectors and only concentrate on institutional cooperation and promotion of their industrial sector. They would, however, continue their assistance in the environment sector and for the development of women. The volume of Norwegian aid to India has shrunk to almost one third of what it used to be in 1990. As compared to NOK 140 million in 1990, it was NOK 45 million in 1995. Under Norway’s new aid policy India no longer enjoys the status of a programme country after 1995. From 1996 no allocations are being made for India under the country programme. All commitments made by the Norwegian Government under the country programme on projects for which agreements have already been signed will be fulfilled. Norway is moving away from the country framework i.e. they will not earmark funds countrywise but will have global funds which can be accessed by all countries with suitable projects.

19.4 As per the new guidelines for development cooperation with India adopted by Norwegian Parliament, Education, Child labour and Environment will be the priority areas. Allocation to India would be financed by NORAD’s Regional Fund for Asia. The global fund for Industrial Development Cooperation will be open for India comprising financing of mixed credit schemes and investment support.

Allocations and Disbursements of Norwegian Assistance to India During 1998-99
19.5 No amount was pledged by Norway at the Indian Development Forum (IDF) meeting since 1996. As against a target of Rs 12.07 crores, the total disbursement of Norwegian assistance during 1998-99 through the Government of India budget was of the order of Rs 13.53 crores.


Impact of Pokhran-II
19.6 As an immediate reaction to Pokhran-II, Norway decided to freeze all aid to India except those directed towards Poverty Alleviation Programmes. On 15th February, 1999, the Norwegian Ambassador has informed that restrictions imposed on Norwegian facilities for export credit guarantees to India have now been lifted and that exporters can again be granted new export credit guarantees..

19.7 The details of Grants are given in Annexure II.