New Delhi: As part of his fiery speech in parliament on Wednesday, the Prime Minister targeted the previous Congress government for worsening India's crisis of bank debt.
"I kept listening to your allegations for the sake of the nation but now the time has come that the nation should know the truth about NPAs (non-performing assets). The NPA are 100% UPAs wrongdoings," he said.
But the data he cited was puzzling.
"Till the time you were in power you lied and said the NPAs were 36% but in 2014 (the year the BJP came to power) we started seeking the truth and looked at the documents. We realised that you gave wrong statistics. NPAs were at 82%," he asserted.
A fact check by NDTV found that as per data by the Reserve Bank of India, gross NPA as percentage of total amount of loans stood at 3.8% in 2013-14, not 82%.
The Prime Minister went on to say that total advances by banks climbed to Rs 52 lakh crore in March 2014, inferring that this was part of the UPA's legacy of bad debt. "This was the money of India's poor," he said.
The Rs 52 lakh crore is, based on RBI data, total advances by Public Sector Banks, not NPAs.
In 2015-16, the second year of the present Modi government, and the last year for which data is available, gross NPA nearly doubled to 7.5%.
Both the data and the video clip of PM Modi's speech on NPAs was tweeted by the BJP's official handle.
When this reporter tweeted the BJP our factcheck seeking a response, within minutes the ruling party's handle deleted the tweet.
(Screenshot of Original Tweet, Now deleted)
The BJP's Twitter handle had earlier on Wednesday Tweeted an infographic which may explain the source of the numbers used by the Prime Minister, albeit incorrectly.
"See how Bank NPAs was the biggest scam of the UPA government, which Modi govt is trying to solve."
That Tweet averred that the percentage of stressed (banking) assets identified as NPA climbed during the NDA's tenure, from 36% in March 2014 to 82% in June 2017, contrary to the PM's claims that the UPA had underestimated the proportion of NPAs under its watch.