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Moratorium Benefit By Banks May Get Extended for NBFCs

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Non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) are offering the moratorium to their customers despite not getting it from their lender-banks.

They had made a representation to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier asking for some clarity on the applicability of the three-month moratorium to NBFCs and were hoping to get the same in the RBI’s announcements.

However, the RBI was silent on the demand made by NBFCs in Friday’s announcements.  However, some experts also indicated that there is an IBA meeting scheduled on Saturday. There, banks are hopefully going to take a call on extending the moratorium to NBFCs.

On March 27, the apex bank had announced a three-month moratorium on payment of all instalments of term loans, due between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020.

When asked about the meeting, IBA Chief Executive Sunil Mehta said all important issues related to banks would be discussed in the meeting.

“It is a regular management committee meeting which will be held. All general issues, including the moratorium to NBFCs, will be discussed,” he said.

Even bankers were expecting to get some clarity on the issue in Friday’s announcements by the RBI.

“We thought RBI will make a clarification on the issue but they were silent on that…,” said a banker with a state-owned bank.

According to the head of an NBFC, RBI’s silence on the issue indicates that it wants banks to decide on the moratorium rather than give them a direction.

The RBI on Friday announced a slew of liquidity measures to support the NBFC sector.

The central bank said it will conduct targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO 2.0) for an aggregate amount of Rs 50,000 crore, to begin with, in tranches of appropriate sizes.

The funds availed under this will have to be invested in investment-grade bonds, commercial paper, and non-convertible debentures of NBFCs, with at least 50 per cent of the total amount availed going to small and mid-sized NBFCs and MFIs.

It also announced providing special refinance facilities for a total amount of Rs 50,000 crore to Nabard, Sidbi and NHB to enable them to meet sectoral credit needs.

SMEStreet Desk

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