British minister Priti Patel lauds Modi’s demonetisation decision as it was a right step to tackle the root causes of corruption….writes Anasudhin Azeez

British Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel with Prime Minister Narendra Modi
British Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel with Prime Minister Narendra Modi


Priti Patel, Secretary for International Development, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his bold initiative to tame black money and corruption in India.

Patel, the former Indian Diaspora Champion under prime minister David Cameron, said the move is a right step to tackle the root causes of corruption.

“Too much black money circulating in the world which funds terrorism and Illegal trade,” she said. “Prime Minister Modi should be commended for demonetising high value currencies and this is giving a strong message to the whole world that the era of illegal deals and trade are over.”

Patel, Britain’s most influential British Indian politician, said she is quite happy with the Brexit outcome despite the rise in racist attacks on British Asian communities. Indian-origin parliamentarians like Lord Karan Bilimoria are campaigning to stem racially aggravated attacks.

“I don’t subscribe the allegations of Lord Bilimoria,” said Patel “This country is harmonious and tolerant. British people voted for Brexit and we are committed to deliver that.”

“I vigorously campaigned for Brexit and it is one of the proudest moment in the history of our country,” said Patel. “It is the first step to regain control of our governance from the European Union.”

Patel also lauded Prime Minister Theresa May’s first official visit to India.

“The prime minister’s decision to go to India is wise and she built a new foundation for the Indo-UK relationships,” said Patel. “We have to give her the credit for opening new avenues for Britain’s trade and industry. The visit also strengthened people-to-people ties besides providing more opportunities like employment and economic development.”

Patel rejected the furore over the visa issue affecting the Indian students. “It is not an issue at all,” she told Asian Lite.

Regarding Pakistan getting more British aid than Nepal and Sri Lanka in South Asia, Patel said Pakistan is a country riddled with severe issues like social inequality, terrorism, fall out of Afghan conflicts.

“A stable Pakistan is crucial for bringing peace to the region,” said Priti. “Tax payers money and development assistance are spending wisely to stabilise Pakistan. Otherwise there will be more conflicts and more social issues. It is a responsible thing to do to bring peace and stability back to Pakistan.”

Annual statistics released by Department for International Development (DFID) showed that the £12.1 billion of overseas development aid in 2015 represented exactly 0.7% of the UK’s gross national income (GNI). Total aid spend in 2015 was up by £437 million (3.7%) compared with 2014. Leading recipients of UK bilateral aid in 2015 were Pakistan (£374 million), Ethiopia (£339 million), Afghanistan (£300 million), Nigeria (£263 million) and Syria (£258 million), with India coming in ninth on £186 million.

When asked about former prime minister David Cameron’s promise to allocate 20 per cent retirement seats for BAME candidates, Patel, the senior most British-Indian politician, said that she is not aware about it.

The 20-20 candidacy promise was one of the campaign messages used by Cameron to win the British-Asians, especially Indian, votes. Nearly 50 per cent of the British Indians supported Cameron in the last general election.




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