India has received three loans worth $2.5 billion to fight the deadly coronavirus disease outbreak, the government said on Tuesday. The loans were provided under three classifications – health, social protection and economic stimulus, union minister Anurag Thakur told the Rajya Sabha.
Stating that all Indian states and union territories have benefitted from the loan, Thakur told the Rajya Sabha that the first loan was signed on April 3, shortly after India announced a nationwide lockdown to aid the virus related health measures.
The first loan was extended by the World Bank to partly finance India’s measures to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by the disease outbreak, in addition to strengthening national machinery for public health preparedness. Out of the total $1 billion, 502.5 million stands disbursed, Thakur’s reply to Rajya Sabha stated.
Thakur added that the second instalment of World Bank’s financial assistance to India came on May 15 and has been fully disbursed. The reply submitted in Rajya Sabha stated, “The second loan relating to social protection measures worth $750 million was signed on 15th May, 2020 as budgetary support to Government of India for ‘Accelerating India’s Covid-19 Social Protection Response Programme’ to support relief measures to beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP).”
The third loan aimed at boosting economic stimulus worth $750 million was signed on July 6, 2020 as budgetary support to Government of Indian government in order to support MSMEs under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package (ANBP).
From the first date of World Bank’s assistance, India has reported over 5 million positive cases and 82,066 deaths due to Covid-19. With an increasing surge in cases, India has become the second worst-hit nation due to the disease outbreak and third worst-hit in terms of deaths reported.