A viral social media claim claims that the government led by Prime Minister Modi has written off all of India’s debt to the World Bank for the past six years.
For 70 years, India was the World Bank’s biggest borrower. After every born Indian was born in debt, things …
Posted by Sarath Jayaprakash on Friday, October 11, 2019
The full message says, “For 70 years India has been the World Bank’s biggest borrower. Once every Indian born was a debtor at birth, the things great economists couldn’t do, a chaiwala did, he changed the fate of India and Indians, in 6 years @ Narendramodi wiped out every penny of India’s debt to the World Bank, all paid off Full settlement made at the UN by India, Who is this man who was talking about an economic downturn in India? #UNLoanCleared #ModiHaiToMumkinHai.
The claim was spread using a screenshot of a tweet from India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin.
For 70 years India was the World Bank’s biggest borrower, once every Indian born was a debtor, things great economists couldn’t do, a chaiwala did, he changed fate from India and the Indians, @Narendra Modi did it in just 6 years as a PM # UNCompensatedLoan #ModiHaiToMumkinHai pic.twitter.com/ZYGZ6VBasS
– Manojava Gururaj Galgali (@ManojavG) October 11, 2019
A screenshot of Akbaruddin’s tweet is also circulating on WhatsApp. Alt News has received multiple requests to verify the same on its official mobile app.
VERIFICATION OF THE FACTS
The claims on social media are incorrect in a number of ways and we will look at them separately in this report.
1. Akbaruddin’s tweet concerns the payment of dues to the United Nations, not loans taken out from the World Bank
Here’s what Syed Akbaruddin’s Oct. 11 tweet reads in full – “All paid. Only 35 out of 193 states have paid all of their @UN dues to date.”
– Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) October 11, 2019
This itself clarifies that Akbaruddin was talking about the payment of dues to the United Nations, not the loans repaid to the World Bank.
A report on the ‘Financial Situation of the United Nations’ published on October 11, 2019, has a table (also tweeted by Akbaruddin) that lists the countries that have paid all dues to the international body as of October 11, 2019.
The United Nations publishes this report twice a year. The previous report, published in May 2019, also indicates that India had paid all dues.
2. Membership fees paid to the United Nations are not loan repayments.
It should be noted that contributions paid to the United Nations are not loan repayments. These are compulsory payments made by each of its 193 member states to finance the international body. Member States can also make voluntary contributions in addition to compulsory payments. article 17 of the UN Charter said, “The expenses of the Organization are the responsibility of the Members according to the distribution of the General Assembly. “
Syed Akbaruddin’s statement that the country has paid all of its dues means that India has made full payment of the UN regular annual budget, peacekeeping appraisal and tribunal appraisal.
The global body is in deficit if member states do not pay their contributions on time. Secretary General Antonio Guterres had recently declared, “Member States paid only 70% of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019. This translates into a cash shortage of $ 230 million at the end of September. We run the risk of depleting our emergency cash reserves by the end of the month [October]. “
3. India has not repaid all of its loans to the World Bank
According to World Bank data, the lender committed $ 3,277 million or $ 3.2 billion to India in 2019. This includes commitments made by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and IDA (International Development Association) which are part of the World Bank.
The graph below shows the amounts committed by the financial institution since 2015.
It is claimed on social media that India has paid off all of its loans in the past six years. However, the country must IDA, which helps the poorest countries in the world, over $ 1.1 billion for 21 projects undertaken between 2014 to date.
In addition, India owes IBRD over $ 2.3 billion for 11 projects, nine of which were agreed during the PAU government.
A list of all projects approved by the World Bank between May 26, 2014 (date of Prime Minister Modi taking office) to date can be viewed. here. Of these 88 projects, the majority have been completed and the rest are either active, abandoned or in progress.
The last project approved by the international lender was the ‘Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture‘on September 30, 2019. The total project costs $ 235.50 million, of which IBRD has committed $ 165 million. It should be noted that the project has only been approved by the Board of Directors of the World Bank and that an agreement has not yet been signed.
India has therefore not repaid all of its loans to the World Bank. In fact, a report published by the organization in 2016 showed that India has been the largest recipient of loans among any nation since its independence. These include loans taken out during Narendra Modi’s first term as Prime Minister. As a growing nation with urgent infrastructure needs, India continues to rely on the World Bank to fund various development projects focused primarily on transport, healthcare, education, energy , among others. Many of these loans are in arrears due to a repayment schedule and outstanding amounts. For example, the ‘India: Improving teacher effectiveness in Bihar‘was signed in 2015. The project should be completed on June 30, 2020. But the date of payment of the last deposit is May 15, 2040.
It can be repeated that the screenshot shared by Syed Akbaruddin did not speak of repayment of loans to the World Bank but of payment of dues to the United Nations as a member state.