RBI and banks caught in the crosshairs as the Supreme Court adjourns loan moratorium hearing for a second time to November 18

RBI and banks caught in the crosshairs as the Supreme Court adjourns loan moratorium hearing for a second time to November 18
RBI left waiting in line as the Supreme Court defers loan moratorium case hearing for a second time to November 18BCCL
  • The Supreme Court of India has deferred the hearing on the pleas seeking the moratorium extension and waiver of accruing interest during that period for a second time due to the unavailability of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
  • Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is caught in the crosshairs, unable to declare accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs) until the verdict comes out.
  • The case will now be heard on November 18. Meanwhile, parties are allowed to circulate short notes.
The Supreme Court has deferred its hearing to take up pleas seeking an extension of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) COVID-19 induced loan moratorium and the waiver of accruing interest for a second time due to the unavailability of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bushan has adjourned the cases to November 18. It has, however, allowed the parties involved to circulate short notes.

However, the RBI isn’t happy. The apex court’s interim order keeping banks from declaring accounts as non-performing assets (NPAs) until the final verdict is out is creating difficulties, according to India’s central bank.

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Senior Advocate V Giri, representing the RBI, argued that the bank and the Finance Ministry have already filed separate additional affidavits declaring that the banks, financial and non-banking financial institutions will credit the difference between compound and simple interest collected on loans of up to ₹2 crore during the moratorium scheme period into the accounts of eligible borrowers by November 5.

But even with the new scheme, the interim order asserting that banks cannot declare accounts as NPA stands. Meanwhile, banks can make their claims by December 15 at the State Bank of India (SBI), and the government will render compensation for compound interest.

Power producers are also waiting in queue
The moratorium hearing was originally scheduled for November 2 but deferred with Mehta being tied up in the Central Vista case, which pertains to the proposed development of the iconic three kilometre from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in New Delhi.

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However, lawyers representing the power producers of India are getting antsy. According to Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, one of the matters left to discuss is now the RBI’s circular on the moratorium has ‘discriminatory elements’ that need to be given priority.

Today, Senior Advocate Manu Singhvi asked for five minutes to say his piece on behalf of the Association of Power Producers (APP) but was denied.

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