Are the foreign loans disclosed to the nation in the budget?
A Right to Information (RTI) Application has revealed that in the past 10 years, India has reportedly paid over Rs. 1,000 crore to the World Bank and ADB as the commitment charges. (Commitment fee is charged by the lenders from their borrowers for the unused credit.) During the financial year 2009-10, India paid Rs 1,400 crore as interest to the World Bank and an interest of Rs 1,182 crore was paid to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Further, the RTI application has revealed that as of March 2010, India has a total outstanding of Rs. 1,43,426 crore at the World Bank and Rs. 25,803 crore at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The funds from World Bank for structural adjustments received during the financial year 2009-10 amounts to Rs 1,248 crore, which is almost double of the figure in the previous financial year. India currently has 104 active project loans from the World Bank, amounting to nearly $21 billion. These projects mainly relate to water resource management, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, etc.
While the loans are needed for the developmental works, critics have argued that as per the current budgeting practice, little mention is made of it in the budget of the country. Would the Hon’ble Finance Minister take a lead this time and break from the past and set a new trend?