In a gesturing of approval for India's new regime, a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee voted yesterday to repeal an anti-India measure adopted by Congress in reaction to that nation's May, 1974, nuclear explosion.
Voted in July, 1974, at the urging of Rep. Clarence D. Long, (D-Md.), the existing statue requires U.S. representative of the World Bank to vote against low-interest loans to India. However, the U.S. voters are insufficient to block the loans.
Chariman Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) of the Foreign Assistants Subcommittee described the earlier action as an ineffectual message to India to "drop dead." Humphrey added that "after 2 1/2 years of dictatorial rule. India has emerged in a election . . . We ought to encourage this sort of thing rather than kick it (India) around."
In proposing that the "Long amendment" be repealed, Humphrey called it "an impediment to an improved relationship." He said the "ratner important and fundamental changes" in India's government since the unexpected defeat last week of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi will lead to "new policies." U.S. policy adjust to the new situation, he said.
The United States has given no new bilateral development aid to India since 1971, although large allocations of U.S. food aid have continued. In addition, India has been receiving about 40 per cent of the long-term, low-interest loans provided worldwide by the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA). The United States contributes about one-third of IDA's funds, which are reserved for the poorest nations.
State Department and Agency for International Development officials are drawing up new proposals for bilateral aid to India in the wake of the elections, with a decision likely within the next few weeks.
An AID plan, drawn up last year but never implemented, called for U.S. financing of pesticides and drugs to aid malaria control. AID documents said malaria in India skyrocketed from 100,000 cases in 1963 to 4 million cases in 1975 and an estimated 8 million cases last year.
A congressional source reported that six development assistance "options" for India are being studied by U.S. agencies.
A bill approved by the Senate subcommittee yesterday would authorize $5 billion in new U.S. capital for the World Bank, IDA and other internationl financial institutions which now carry a heavy share of U.S. development assistance. Under existing ratios, India would receive about $900 million yearly from the IDA fund, about one-tthird of this from the United States. Prior to last week's election, some U.S. lawmakers argued that India's share should be reduced.
The Senate subcommittee voted to repeal an amendment requiring U.S. votes of disapproval against international bank loans to nations which consistently violate the human rights of their citizens. The subcommittee voted to subsitute a more flexible provision, backed at the Carter administration, instructing U.S. representatives to international development banks to use their "voice and vote" to advance human rights.