India’s central bank requested banks on Wednesday to allow certain borrowers have more time to repay loans, among other support measures, amid a major second wave of COVID-19 infections in the nation that has led to strict lockdowns in many states.
The moratorium will soon be accessible to people and small and medium enterprises that did not restructure their loans in 2020 and have been categorized as regular accounts till March 2021, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das told reporters.
“Small businesses and financial entities at the grassroot level are bearing the biggest brunt of the second wave of infections,” Das said, since he announced a slew of other steps to boost liquidity and increase lending to different needy sectors.
The brand new round of moratoriums will likely be appropriate for borrowers with a entire exposure of 250 million rupees ($3. 39 million), Das said.
Businesses in India have been struck hard by the new round of lockdowns over the last month to curb the spread of this virus as many were inching back into normalcy from the nationwide lockdown last year.
India listed 382,315 new infections over the last 24 hours to achieve a total of 20. 67 million, while deaths rose by a record 3,780 into 226,188, health ministry data showed. Experts say real numbers may be five to 10 times greater.
Bankers had requested the RBI for the moratorium, particularly for retail and small borrowers, news station CNBC-TV18 said on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources.
Last calendar year, the central bank declared a moratorium for a total of six weeks to borrowers.
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