The Ministry of Finance on Thursday said it has formed a three-member expert committee to assist government in assessment of providing relief to the bank borrowers. The decision has come while the Supreme Court is hearing petitions filed by borrowers seeking waiver on interest accrued during loan moratorium.
The expert committee will be headed by Rajiv Mehrishi, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The panel also includes Ravindra H Dholakia, former Professor, IIM Ahmedabad and ex-Member, Monetary Policy Committee of Reserve Bank of India, and B Sriram, former Managing Director, State Bank of India and IDBI Bank.
According to Finance Ministry, the committee will measure the impact on the national economy and financial stability of waiving interest and interest on interest on the COVID-19 related moratorium. It will also suggest measures to mitigate financial constraints of various sections of society and rules to be adopted in this regard. Apart from this, they will also give inputs that may be necessary in the current situation.
The committee has been asked to submit its report within one week. While State Bank of India will provide secretarial support to the committee, the panel may consult banks or other stakeholders, as deemed necessary, for the purpose, the Finance Ministry said.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court, while hearing petitions seeking waiver of accrued interest and extension of the six-month loan moratorium period allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said that it will resume hearing on September 28. The top court also ruled that its order asking banks not to declare the accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs) for two months will continue.
The apex court also observed that banks should not downgrade credit ratings and maintain status quo till further hearing (on September 28). The court has also directed the Centre to file a detailed affidavit within two weeks and posted the matter for further hearing after the said duration.
By Chitranjan Kumar