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Coronavirus crisis: FM Nirmala Sitharaman to meet PSU bank heads on Monday

FM Nirmala Sitharaman will take stock of interest rate transmission to borrowers by banks and progress on the moratorium on loan repayments

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | May 10, 2020 | Updated 14:31 IST
Coronavirus crisis: FM Nirmala Sitharaman to meet PSU bank heads on Monday
Credit offtake will be one of the topics of discussion during the meeting which will be held via video-conferencing

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold a virtual review meeting with the heads of public sector banks (PSBs) on Monday to deliberate and discuss several issues to revive the economy hit by coronavirus crisis as well as lockdown 3.0.

Credit offtake will be one of the topics of discussion during the meeting which will be held via video-conferencing.

FM Sitharaman will take stock of interest rate transmission to borrowers by banks and progress on the moratorium on loan repayments, sources told PTI.

The Reserve Bank of India had on March 27 slashed the benchmark interest rate by a massive 75 basis points and also announced a three-month moratorium to be given by banks to provide relief to borrowers whose income has been hit due to the lockdown.

Also Read: Economic stimulus package this week; relief for MSMEs & workers; reforms on cards

Earlier this month, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das held a meeting with heads of both public and private sector banks to take stock of the economic situation and review the implementation of various measures announced by the central bank.

The deployment of excessive funds by banks under the reverse repo route may also come up for discussion on Monday, sources said.

Besides, progress under the targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) for the NBFC sector and microfinance institutions (MFIs), and sanctions under the COVID-19 emergency credit line will also be reviewed.

Under the emergency credit line, borrowers can avail a maximum of 10 per cent of the existing fund-based working capital limits, subject to a cap of Rs 200 crore.

Also Read: FM Nirmala Sitharaman says Rs 18,253 crore disbursed under PM-KISAN scheme during lockdown

Public sector banks have sanctioned loans worth Rs 42,000 crore to the MSME sector and corporates since the start of the lockdown.

The finance minister had on Thursday said that as many as 3.2 crore borrowers had taken advantage of the three-month moratorium scheme on repayment of loans announced by the RBI.

"PSBs complemented RBI on loan moratorium. There effective communication and proactive actions ensured that over 3.2 cr. a/c availed 3-month moratorium. Quick query redressals allayed customer concerns. Ensuring responsible banking amid #lockdown," she had tweeted.

Sitharaman also said state-owned banks had sanctioned loans worth Rs 5.66 lakh crore to borrowers between March and April, 2020 and disbursement would start soon after the lockdown is lifted.

She said the banks sanctioned loans worth Rs 77,383 crore between March 1 and May 4 to provide sustained credit flow to non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies.

Besides, under the Targeted Long Term Repo Operations (TLTROs), total financing of Rs 1.08 lakh crore was extended "ensuring business stability and continuity going forward," she had said earlier.

Meanwhile, MFI association Sa-Dhan, in a communication to the finance minister, said the sector expects to lend close to Rs 50,000 crore over the next six months, mostly by way of emergency or top-up loans to existing borrowers.

However, it expressed concern that there is a possibility of shortfall of collections of over 30-40 per cent by September and a potential default by MFIs on lenders to the extent of 10 per cent.

there is likely to be a surge in demand from microfinance borrowers, given they urgently need credit to rebuild their lives and stabilise their incomes.

However, field collections will be affected given the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on clients' incomes as well as uncertainty in operations post lockdown in many districts, Sa-Dhan said.

Many mid and small MFIs will struggle to meet their operational expenses in full, with a potential shortfall of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore. The industry employs close to two lakh urban and rural youths, and sustaining their jobs is also an obligation to the sector, it added.

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