A viral post, claiming that India owes the World Bank $1,31,000 million (or $131 billion), all under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is false. Lending data provided by the World Bank does not support this number, which is vastly inflated.
According to the World Bank, from its fiscal year 1970 to 2019 (which starts in July and runs through June the next year), India has an original principal of $113 billion across the World Bank's two arms: the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Developmental Association (IDA). However, India's obligation currently stands at $36.142 billion. These numbers span both central and state projects.
The post can be found below. It says that Modi has destroyed India, making it a pauper, and attributing these statements to the World Bank to obtain credence. An apparent headline can be seen in the post, carrying a website's name hindinewsonline.in. However, the website seems to be unavailable and the story seems to be broken.
Several others on social media too have carried this post.
The World Bank is a multilateral financial institution made up of two organisations or arms – the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
While the IBRD advances loans to middle and lower-income countries, the IDA advances interest free loans – called credits – and grants to the poorest of countries. This can be read here.
According to the data available with the World Bank as of December 31, 2021, India has cumulatively borrowed just more than $113 billion from World Bank fiscal year 1970 to 2019. This spans a period of nearly 50 years, and central and state projects, and has not been borrowed by the central government under Prime Minister Modi alone. Of this $63.627 has been borrowed from the IBRD and $50.184 billion from the IDA as credits.
$87.49 billion worth of these loans have been disbursed, while $6.12 billion worth of loans remain undisbursed in the same period. India has already repaid $51.802 billion worth of loans: $28.1 billion to the IBRD and $23.63 billion to the IDA over the same period.
India's current outstanding obligation stands at $36.142 billion, of which just above $16 billion is owed to the IBRD and $20 billion to the IDA. It is a far cry from the $131 billion being claimed by the post, which dwarves even India's total borrowing over the course of the past 50 years.
A document version of the data can be seen here, and and archived link to the data here. The data may be different on the World Bank's website as the data is dynamic and is updated regularly.
In World Bank fiscal year 2020, India borrowed $5.13 billion, $3.16 billion in 2021 and $350 million in 2022 across both arms.
A government version of the loans have is also available as the loans received for central and state level projects have also been given by the Ministry of Finance to Lok Sabha here.
The World Bank is a popular target for both sides of the ideological isle to spread misinformation.
BOOM has earlier debunked claims that under Prime Minister Modi, the government has cleared all of India's World Bank dues or has not borrowed a single penny under him. BOOM also debunked claims that said that Modi was the prime minister under whom India borrowed the most from the World Bank.