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Responsibility for collection of the data for 2006-07 has been transferred from UNODC to the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics. A UK-funded consultant is supporting ministry staff to do this. The results are planned to be released at the end of June.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much humanitarian aid and financial assistance the UK has given to Grenada since 2001; and when he expects an assessment team to be sent to Grenada to determine whether further financial or humanitarian aid is necessary. 
Mr. Thomas: Between the financial years 2000-01 and 2004-05, the UK has provided a total of £8.15 million of aid to Grenada. Of this total, £1.65 million was provided over the period as financial assistance, and £6.5 million was provided as emergency assistance following the impact of Hurricane Ivan on the country in September 2004.
Following Hurricane Ivan in 2005, DFID committed a total of £325,000 to provide: consultancy support in the forestry sector; a chartered surveyor to assess the hurricane damage done to the Governor-General's compound and Parliament; and, with the US Agency for International Development, co-finance debt advisers to develop proposals for the restructuring of Grenada's debt. In addition, our share of the European Commission's humanitarian support and additional reconstruction funds following the impact of the hurricane was £1.18 million.
Since Hurricane Ivan, we have remained closely engaged with the Government of Grenada, with regular visits to the island by DFID staff based in the Caribbean. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development, made it clear in meetings with Prime Minister Keith Mitchell in 2005, that DFID recognised the Government's success at leading the reconstruction efforts, and the continuing challenges facing Grenada. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development, made a commitment to review the case for additional budget support to Grenada. We will keep the situation under close review and, in the absence of another disaster, make any future judgment based on input from the Government of Grenada, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Commission, and other development partners.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the projects in India that are supported by his Department that are specifically aimed at Dalit peoples. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID is committed to supporting the Government of India in its efforts to combat caste discrimination and social exclusion in all its forms. Dalits (also known as Scheduled Castes), like other minorities, have a right to be included in all the mainstream Government programmes that DFID supports. DFID does not support particular programmes aimed at minority communities but promotes social inclusion in all its programmes.
India's constitution safeguards the rights of all its citizens and the Government of India's policies provide the necessary framework to tackle discrimination. The
challenge is to implement these policies effectively and for this reason DFID is engaging with the Government of India and other development partners to help to implement their commitments.
For example, in education, DFID supports India's National Programme for achieving universal primary education (Sarva Shiksha AbhiyanSSA). One of the objectives of this programme, which was launched in September 2004, was to narrow the gaps that existed between the enrolment of Scheduled Caste and other children.
The recent mid-term review of SSA indicates that the programme has been effective in increasing the enrolment of Scheduled Caste children into mainstream education. The proportion of Scheduled Caste children in the school population has increased from 19 per cent. in 2003 to 21.3 per cent. in 2005. This means that millions of Dalit children are now in schools alongside other children and the proportion of Dalit children in mainstream Government schools now exceeds the proportion of Dalit children in the general population. This success has been achieved through a range of strategies that have helped to tackle discrimination at all levels.
Special efforts are needed to ensure that Dalits are able to exercise their rights to access mainstream services. DFID is providing £75 million over five years to UNICEF in India to help reduce child mortality to tackle social exclusion in health and education services. Under this partnership, UNICEF has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies. This will increase understanding of how to tackle the constraints and barriers that Dalits face in accessing services.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had discussions with President Gayoom of the Maldives on political reform. Our new High Commissioner in Colombo, also accredited to the Maldives, presented his credentials to the President on 22 May. The High Commissioner subsequently met with Government Ministers, members of the Maldivian Democratic Party and others for discussions. Additionally, there have been a number of recent meetings between officials and Maldivian Ministers in London and Malé. All of these discussions included the subject of political reform. I also refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him today (UIN 74794).
The UK has provided substantial funding for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) operation in Nepal. This was the largest single project in the Global Conflict Prevention Pool's (GCPP) Nepal Strategy for 2005-06, from which we made a contribution of £610,000. We also provided a further £200,000 from the Global Opportunity Fund.
Using GCPP funds we have appointed a human rights adviser who works closely with OHCHR providing reports and analysis of human rights developments and recommendations to ensure due regard for human rights is mainstreamed into policy making in Nepal.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the Private Members' Bills on which his Department has adopted a policy of neutrality in each session since 2001-02; and if he will make a statement. 
Hilary Benn: Since the 2001-02 parliamentary session, the International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Bill is the only Private Members' Bill related to international development that has reached its Second Reading (in January 2006). The Government support this Bill.
Margaret Hodge: 99.8 per cent. of UK households can now access broadband. Broadband coverage in rural areas stands at 99.2 per cent. of households. Some households are, however, not able to receive broadband services, or only at very low speeds, due to local technicalities such as distance from a home to the local exchange or because of the poor quality of networks.
The broadband market is dynamic, where research and competition are stimulating rapid developments and innovative solutions to technical problems. There is a range of private and public sector funded pilot projects emerging across the UK aiming to identify solutions to further improve access to broadband services.
The DTI and DEFRA produced a CD-ROM A New Way to Live, Work and Play last year. It contains hundreds of stories and examples of how people obtained and gained benefits from broadband. The
CD-ROM was sent to parish councils, rural community councils, regional development agencies, devolved Administrations, intermediary organisations and other interested parties. The material is also available via the DTI website. The Department also has regular contact with the regional development agencies and devolved Administrations to discus future broadband developments and the impact of initiatives to promote its take-up.
In addition, the DTI continues to explore broadband deployment in the UK and has initiated a debate and review of next generation access for broadband in the UK, through the Broadband Stakeholder Group, involving public and private sector stakeholders and including exploring technical solutions to the inhibitors of broadband access, such as line lengths.
The DTI is separately engaging organisations such as the Royal National Institute for the Deaf; Help the Aged, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and organisations such as Citizens on-line and the Alliance for Digital Inclusion and other industry organisations to develop options for disadvantaged people to access ICT and broadband.
Connecting the UK: The Digital Strategy, launched in April 2005, is the Government's initial response to bridging the digital divide. It sets out a number of actions aimed at driving take-up and use of ICT, particularly among typically excluded groups.
The DTI is working in partnership with other Government Departments to assist delivery of their programmes including the DfES's e-Strategy Harnessing Technology: Transforming learning and children's services', the DCLG's Digital Challenge, to which the DTI has committed £250,000 for the prize fund, and the Cabinet Office's Transformational Government.
The DTI is also working with stakeholders to develop and promote the support services, which enable access for those without their own equipment, or necessary IT skills such as UK On-line Centres. The Department is active in a European context in supporting the European Commission's i2010 initiative, including supporting the recent Commission communication on Bridging the Broadband Gap,
which aims to promote the use of existing measures and initiatives to further broadband access within the European Union.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to combat cold calling by telephone to British citizens by foreign companies; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: The Department introduced the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) scheme in 1999, under the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations, which were updated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations in 2003. The TPS scheme provides protection to UK consumers from cold calling by foreign companies if the calls are made on behalf of UK companies and the consumer has previously notified the caller that they do not wish to receive such calls or has been registered with the TPS for at least 28 days. Therefore, those making cold calls are legally required not to call a number that has registered on the TPS list. The Information Commissioner has responsibility for the enforcement of the TPS scheme and considers complaints about breaches. However, cold calls from non-UK companies marketing a service or product are not covered by the TPS scheme, as the companies and products have no link with the UK.
Margaret Hodge: Value added tax (VAT) de-registrations are the best official guide to the pattern of business closures. DTI data on VAT de-registrations in the UK from 1997 to 2004 are shown in the following table. For comparison, data on each years VAT registrations and the ratio of de-registrations to registrations are also shown.
|VAT de-registrations and registrations 1997-2004|
| Source: Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994-2004, Small Business Service, available at hitp;//www.sbs,gov.uk/vats|
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