The central government has borrowed about $5.6 billion (₹41,746 crores) from international financial institutions and other countries during the current fiscal to fight the COVID-19 battle, a right to information query revealed.
The RTI documents in possession of Deccan Herald show that the Government of India has borrowed ₹52,246.32 crore of loans from five foreign institutions, along with France and Japan to deal with the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A set of documents sourced from RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak show that the approved loans include credit facilities from the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, International Bank For Reconstruction and Development, International Development Association, New Development Bank, along with bilateral loans from France and Japan.
About 80 per cent (₹41,746 crore) of the sanctioned amount has already been disbursed to India. The loans from Asian Development Bank, International Development Association, New Development Bank, and France have been fully disbursed.
But the loans from Japan have not been fully disbursed yet. Loans from the International Bank For Reconstruction and Development and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have been partially disbursed.
The government has reportedly spent 4 per cent more on utilisation from these loans than sanctioned to them. Till now, the government has utilised ₹43,345.69 crore from their international loan kitty.
The disbursed loans include ₹5,620 crore support to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises with by the government, as this sector has seen a lot of stress lately.
These loans are over and above the collection from the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) created in March 2020, according to the media report.