Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur informed Parliament on Monday that the Center had taken out two loans worth more than Rs 9,000 crore from the Chinese-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to step up the fight against the coronavirus crisis , amid border tensions with the neighboring country.
Thakur was responding to questions from MPs from Bharatiya Janata party Sunil Kumar Singh and PP Chaudhary from Lok Sabha about how the government had used the funds and whether they had been transferred to the states.
The minister informed Lok Sabha that the first loan agreement was signed on May 8 while the second was concluded on June 19, just four days after the clashes in the Galwan Valley. The first reports of the Chinese intrusion into Ladakh, however, began to emerge in May.
“The Indian government has signed two loan agreements with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank under the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility,” Thakur said. “First loan of $ 500 million [Rs 3,676 crore approximately] was signed on May 8, 2020 to partially support the “Indian COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project” to respond to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen the national health system For the preparation. “
Thakur added: “The second loan of $ 750 million [Rs 5,514 crore approximately] was signed on June 19, 2020 as budget support to the Indian government to accelerate India’s COVID-19 social protection response program to support actions taken under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), including benefits have also benefited States / UT [Union territories]. “
The minister said the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has so far released $ 251.25 million. [Rs 1,847 crore approximately] from the first loan. He added that the funds have been used to help states.
On Tuesday, Thakur told the Rajya Sabha that the world Bank granted India three loans worth $ 2.5 billion [Rs 18,386 crore approximately] to fight the coronavirus pandemic, according to All India Radio.
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Wednesday, the head of Congress Rahul gandhi criticized the Center for taking “huge loans” from the bank amid the tense situation.
Tensions between India and China erupted after the June 15 clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, when 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers have been killed. The military leaders of the two countries have engaged in several rounds of talks over the past three months, but little progress has been made.
The situation at the border has worsened further this month. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on September 1 that Chinese troops engaged in “provocative action” in Ladakh on August 31. Less than a week later, China accused India of having “fired scandalously warning shots” during a new clash on the southern shore of Lake Pangong Tso in Ladakh. India denied the accusation.
On September 10, the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. The two ministers agreed on a five-point plan to defuse tensions between the countries and said the current situation in the border areas of Ladakh was “not in the interests of both sides”. They therefore agreed that border troops from both sides should “continue their dialogue, disengage quickly, maintain an appropriate distance and ease tensions”.