India’s contribution to UN increases to Rs 244 cr

New Delhi: India’s contribution to the United Nations rose 55 per cent to Rs 244 crore in 2015-16 compared with the previous fiscal, the governemnt said today.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed the Lok Sabha that the government had also made voluntary contributions to the tune of Rs 22 crore to international organisations, including UN agencies, in the last financial year.

The country contributed Rs 244 crore to the UN last fiscal compared with Rs 157 crore in 2014-15.

“For the period 2016-18, India’s Scale of Assessment for the UN’s Regular and Peacekeeping budgets has been fixed at 0.737 per cent and 0.1474 per cent, respectively,” Swaraj said in reply to questions.

Each UN member is required to contribute to the organisation’s Regular and Peacekeeping budgets. These obligatory contributions are calculated based on a member’s relative ‘capacity to pay’, she said.

This is defined through a scale of assessment that takes into account the member country’s Gross National Income relative to the Global Gross National Income, adjusted further for the level of its national external debt and low per capita income, she added.

For Peacekeeping budget, Swaraj said, “since all permanent members of the Security Council bear special responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security, they must contribute additional amounts”.

The government does not have details on which projects the UN spends the contributions made by India, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said during Question Hour.

UN officials are exempt from taxation on the salaries and emoluments paid to them.

“Since income tax is not levied on the salaries of the UN officials in India, data of income tax exemption extended by India for the UN officials working in India does not exist,” Swaraj said.