RBI extends loan restructuring facility to companies; eases industry’s pain in tough times

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Updated: August 06, 2020 3:54 PM

The Reserve Bank of India today announced a loan restructuring window for corporates, following bankers and industry demand.

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The restructuring will be allowed as per the prudential framework issued on June 7, 2019.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday announced a loan restructuring window for corporates following bankers and industry demand. The restructuring will be allowed as per the prudential framework issued on June 7, 2019, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said. Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the government is working with the RBI on the need for restructuring of loans to help the industry tide over the impact of COVID-19. “The focus is on restructuring. Finance ministry is actively engaged with RBI on this. In principle, the idea that there may be a restructuring required, is well taken,” Sitharaman had said.

In February, the RBI decided to extend the benefit of one-time restructuring without an asset classification downgrade to standard accounts of GST-registered micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that were in default as on January 1, 2020, in line with the Budget announcement. Stressed MSME borrowers would be eligible for restructuring of debt, if their accounts were classified standard, Das added.

The governor also raised the Loan-to-Value ratio against gold to 90 per cent from current 75 per cent, to mitigate COVID-19 impact on households. Priority sector lending status has been extended to start-ups, a move that will encourage banks to extend loans to such units. However, the Governor did not give any indication on the loan moratorium which ends on August 31.

To help borrowers deal with liquidity crunch during the pandemic, the Reserve Bank had announced a three-month loan moratorium in March, which was later extended by another three months till August 31. Borrowers opting for loan moratorium can defer payment of the interest and principal component of the loan during this period. However, bankers expressed reservations over further extending the loan moratorium because it is being misused by even those who have the ability to pay.

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