RBI asks lenders to implement waiver of interest on interest scheme by Nov 5

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Updated: Oct 27, 2020 5:17 PM

Last Friday, the government had announced the scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts.

We continue to expect RBI to follow an asymmetric policy of buying FX when the USD weakens and allowing INR to depreciate when it strengthens.

The Reserve Bank on Tuesday asked all lending institutions, including non-banking financial companies, to ensure that the scheme of waiver of interest on interest for loans up to Rs 2 crore for the six-month moratorium period is implemented by November 5, as decided by the government.

Last Friday, the government had announced the scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts.

The lending institutions have been asked to complete the exercise of crediting the amount in the accounts of borrowers by November 5.

Housing loans, education loans, credit card dues, auto loans, MSME loans, consumer durable loans and consumption loans are covered under the scheme.

The scheme mandates ex-gratia payment to certain categories of borrowers by way of crediting the difference between simple interest and compound interest for the period between March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020 by respective lending institutions.

“All lending institutions are advised to be guided by the provisions of the Scheme and take necessary action within the stipulated timeline,” the RBI said in a notification.

In a tweet, office of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said “RBI advises all lending institutions to be guided by the provisions of the scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest & simple interest for 6 months to borrowers in specified loan accounts & take necessary action within the stipulated timeline”.

The finance ministry had issued the operational guidelines on October 23, in the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s direction to implement the interest waiver scheme.

The apex court on October 14, directed the Centre to implement “as soon as possible” interest waiver on loans of up to Rs 2 crore under the RBI moratorium scheme in view of the COVID-19 pandemic saying the common man’s Diwali is in the government’s hands.

As per the scheme, the lending institutions shall credit the difference between compound interest and simple interest with regard to the eligible borrowers in respective accounts for the said period irrespective of whether the borrower fully or partially availed the moratorium on repayment of loan announced by the RBI on March 27, 2020.

The scheme is also applicable on those who have not availed the moratorium scheme and continued with the repayment of loans.

The lending institutions after crediting the amount will claim the reimbursement from the central government.

The RBI had announced a moratorium on repayment of debt for six months beginning March 1, 2020 to help businesses and individuals tide over the financial problems on account of disruption in normal business activities.

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