New Delhi:  Playing down media reports in the UK seeking stoppage of aid to India on the basis of reported Rajya Sabha proceedings last year, India on Monday said it has always been appreciative of foreign assistance.

"The expanse of our need is such that foreign assistance provided is very small portion of it," a senior government official said.

"There are niche areas where we require assistance and we have always been appreciative of efforts to provide that assistance," he said.

The official was responding to reports in the UK's 'Sunday Times' and 'The Sunday Telegraph' that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had stated in the Rajya Sabha last August that India did not need British aid which, according to him, was "peanuts". "We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development exercises (expenditure)."

The official said everything was on record and one can look for themselves what was said in the Parliament and what the story is saying.

The official said India has an ongoing process of trying to work with international partners which are willing to provide assistance, the areas they can provide help in and the quantum of that assistance.

Reacting to the media reports, the spokesman of the Indian High Commission in the UK had said on Sunday that "yes, we have currently an aid programme with the UK. We are in ongoing consultation with British government on nature, future direction, priority and manner of disbursal (of the aid)."

Officials had insisted last night that British aid to India was necessary and that "now is not the time to end aid to India."