RBI – Statement on Development and Regulatory Policies

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RBI – Statement on Development and Regulatory Policies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a statement on the development and regulatory policies, vide press release dated 22nd May 2020. The statement majorly targeted improving the functioning of the market, support imports and exports, and easing up the financial stress triggered by the COVID-19. The current article critically evaluates the said measures announced by the RBI.

Measures announced to improve the functioning of the markets

  1. Refinancing facility for SIDBI-

RBI has announced a particular refinance facility of INR 15,000 crore to the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for on-lending or refinancing. The said facility has been rolled over for another period of 90 days.

  1. Investments by FPIs under VRR-

As per the norms, the Foreign Portfolio Investors (i.e., FPIs) are required to invest at least 75% of their Committed Portfolio Size within three months from the date of allotment of the investment limits.

As a relief measure, RBI has granted an additional time period of three months for FPIs who have been allotted investment limits between 24th January 2020 and 30th April 2020.

Measures announced to support imports and exports

  1. Extension of time for payments for imports-

An extension has been provided towards the time period for completion of remittances against normal imports in India from six months to twelve months from the date of shipment. The extension is available to imports made on or before 31st July 2020. However, the extension is not available to the cases, wherein the amount is withdrawn towards the guarantee of performance.

  1. Export Credit-

The maximum allowable period of pre-shipment and post-shipment export credit certified by banks has been increased from one year to 15 months. The extension is available to disbursements made up to 31st July 2020.

  1. Liquidity facility for Exim Bank of India-

RBI has decided to extend a line of credit of INR 15,000 crore to the Exim Bank of India for a period of 90 days from the date of availment with maximum period roller up of one year. This step will enable the Exim bank to avail US dollar swap facilities to meet its foreign exchange requirements.

Measures announced to ease financial stress

  1. Suspension of Term Loan Instalments-

RBI had already permitted all the commercial banks, co-operative banks, financial institutions, and NBFCs to allow suspension of instalments for three months. The announcement applied to all the term loans outstanding as on 1st March 2020.

However, the RBI has extended the suspension period by another three months, i.e., from 1st June 2020 to 31st August 2020.

Additionally, relief has also been provided by stating that such suspension will not result in asset classification downgrade.

  1. Postponement of interest on working capital facilities-

The regulatory package allowed the lenders to postpone the recovery of interest on working capital facilities sanctioned during the period 1st March 2020 to 31st May 2020.

The facility of postponement of interest has now been deferred for another period of three months i.e., from 1st June 2020 to 31st August 2020.

Additionally, in order to further reduce the burden of the borrowers of repaying the accumulated interest of deferred period in one shot, lenders are permitted to-

  • Convert the accumulated interest on working capital facilities over the postponement period (i.e., 1st March 2020 to 31st August 2020) into a funded interest term loan.
  • The borrowers should repay such funded interest term loan within 31st March 2021.

Further, RBI has also declared that such postponement will not result in asset classification downgrade. As the same will not be treated as concessions granted due to the financial difficulty of the borrowers.

  1. Easing of working capital financing-

The lenders are permitted to recalculate the drawing power by reducing the margin or by reassessing the working capital cycle. The relief was initially available up to 31st May 2020. However, the same is now extended up to 31st August 2020.

  1. Limit on Group Exposure under Large Exposures Framework-

As per guidelines of the Large Exposures Framework, the exposure of a bank to a group of connected counterparties should not be more than 25% of the eligible capital base of the bank.

However, on account of COVID-19 outbreak the corporates are currently facing difficulty in raising funds from the capital market and are predominately dependent on bank’s funding. Henceforth, as a one-time measure, RBI has increased the exposure limit from 25% to 30%. The increased limit will be applicable up to 30th June 2021.

Post by poonamgandhi

CA Poonam Gandhi is a Chartered Accountant and a Lawyer. With a wide practice experience and deep understanding of different laws and taxes, she has been an independent professional writer in the field of taxation, finance and laws.