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Britain to end financial aid to India

LONDON — Britain will halt all aid spending in India in 2015 in a significant shift in relations between the emerging economic giant and its former colonial ruler, Prime Minister David Cameron’s government announced Friday.

Acknowledging the country’s rising wealth and status, International Development chief Justine Greening said Britain would change its entire relationship with India — seeking to boost trade as it ends its aid program.

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Britain offered India about $447 million in assistance in 2011, focused heavily on education and health programs for impoverished children.

However, many legislators in the United Kingdom had targeted the development spending for scorn, arguing that Britain, struggling to cut its own national debt, could no longer afford to help a booming nation that has its own space program.

‘‘Now is the time to move to a relationship focusing on skills-sharing rather than aid,’’ Greening said. ‘‘It’s time to recognize India’s changing place in the world.’’

Britain is struggling with spending cuts worth $162 billion through 2017.

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