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Covid India: RBI announces Rs500 bn liquidity for virus-related healthcare infrastructure

Web report/New Delhi
Filed on May 5, 2021
AFP

Governor Shaktikanta Das warned that the economic situation has reversed.


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday warned that the economic situation in India has reversed from “being on the foothills of strong economic recovery to facing a fresh crisis.”

In an unscheduled address, the governor announced an on-tap liquidity window of Rs500 billion with a tenure of up to three years at repo rate being opened till March 31, 2022.

“The devastating speed with which the virus affects has to be matched by swift and wide-ranging actions that are sequenced, calibrated and well-timed so as to reach out to various sections including the most vulnerable,” declared Das.

The ‘on tap liquidity’ to the public will be at the repo rate of 4 per cent.

According to him, businesses have learnt to survive despite Covid restrictions and containments.

The RBI has also stepped in with a series of plans for borrower, especially small firms, to tackle the crisis.

The on-tap liquidity window extends support to several entities including vaccine manufactures, hospitals, medical facilities and even patients, which have been classified as a priority sector till repayment or maturity.

Das also maintained that while the global economic outlook remained uncertain, the second wave of Covid-19 had a comparatively lower impact on national inflation in India, as compared to the first wave.

In fact, the manufacturing sector has been least affected by the second wave. The governor expects a rapid recovery of the Indian economy after the stabilisation of the current wave of the pandemic.

Banks will also create a separate Covid loan book under the scheme announced by the governor on Wednesday. Small finance banks have been allowed to on-lend to small microfinance institutions with asset size of up to Rs5 billion. It has similarly extended long-term repo operation for small finance banks of up to Rs100 billion.

State governments have got some further relief with overdrafts allowed for maximum of 50 days as compared to the existing 36 days. The number of consecutive overdraft days have been raised from 14 days to 21.





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