‘India took 2 loans of over Rs 9,000 Crore from Beijing amid stand-off in Galwan valley’

New Delhi: On the third day of the session in Parliament of  India, a member of the Lower House of Parliament from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, Anurag Singh Thakur informed that Government of India has taken two loans to the tune of over Rs 9,000 crore from the Chinese-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to augment the fight against coronavirus crisis, amid border tensions with the neighbouring country.

He was responding to questions put forth by Bharatiya Janata Party MPs Sunil Kumar Singh and PP Chaudhary in the Lok Sabha about how the government had put the funds to use and whether they had been transferred to the states.

Thakur, who also serves as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, informed the Lok Sabha that the first loan agreement was signed on May 8 while the second one was made on June 19, just four days after the Galwan valley clash. The initial reports about Chinese intrusion in Ladakh had; however, begun emerging in May.

“The Government of India has signed two loan agreements with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank under COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility,” Thakur, according to a report by The Scroll, informed the parliament.

“First loan of USD 500 million [Rs 3,676 crore approximately] was signed on May 8, 2020 to partly support the ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project’ to respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen the national health system for preparedness,” he said.

Thakur, the son of former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh added: “the second loan of USD 750 million [Rs 5,514 crore approximately] was signed on June 19, 2020, as budgetary support to Government of India for Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Programme in order to support measures undertaken under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), the benefits of which have also flown to States/UTs [Union territories].”

The parliament was further informed by the minister that Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has so far released an amount of $251.25 million [Rs 1,847 crore approximately] from the first loan. He added that the funds were used to help the states.

On Tuesday, Thakur had told the Rajya Sabha that the World Bank had provided India three loans amounting to $2.5 billion [Rs 18,386 crore approximately] to combat the coronavirus pandemic, All India Radio reported.


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