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Friday,26-February-2021

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RBI’s revised debt resolution rules likely post Lok Sabha election 2019

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RBI

The RBI’s revised stress assets resolution circular is likely to be out after the elections to clear the model code of conduct, and also the regulator may need time to have consultations with legal experts, industry and government before bringing the framework out, official sources said.

This would mean that the widely anticipated RBI circular would not be issued before June. The delay could also halt resolution of several stressed assets as lenders are looking for clear directions from the banking regulator before moving ahead to resolve accounts.

“After the court judgement, the RBI is extra careful to issue any other circular without proper consultation and vetting. This could result in some delays, but ultimately better regulations would flow,” said an official source.

The Supreme Court on April 2 struck down a February 12, 2018 circular of the RBI that asked banks to initiate insolvency process against companies even if there was a day’s delay in payment of dues.

As per the circular, banks were told to start the resolution process as soon as a borrower defaulted on a term loan and were given 180 days to cure it, failing which the account would have to be referred to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

While the new circular on debt resolution is still being discussed and debated, it is expected that RBI is likely to adopt a more accommodative approach towards resolution of stressed assets in the new circular.

Sources said the major contention in the controversial February 12, 2018, circular that got challenged in court leading to the quashing of the circular will be done away with in the new circular. Instead, banks will be given more time to identify and qualify an account as bad debt and also be given more time to resolve a case.

The RBI is likely to retain the main contours of its February 12, 2018 circular while making the referral to NCLT non-compulsory, sources told IANS.

It may, however, be guided by suggestions earlier given by Indian Banking Association (IBA) for debt resolution for classification of NPA and resolution of bad assets.

Bankers had suggested qualifying a loan as bad debt if the default was for a period of at least 90 days and not one day as was the case in the February 12 circular. A bank-led resolution should start only after that, according to bankers.

Moreover, it had suggested a 60-day incubation period post this time for identifying the default. After this, banks would resolve a case within 180 days and consider referring the case to NCLT post that period, if the majority of the lenders agreed.

The revised circular on NPAs, however, is unlikely to include the pre-IBC restructuring tools like Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR), Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR), Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets or S4A that were phased out by RBI earlier.

In the previous circular the RBI had withdrawn all existing debt restructuring schemes – S4A, CDR, JLF, and SDR – and asked banks to draw up resolution plans for all assets where the banking sector’s exposure was more than Rs 2,000 crore

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Business

Dixon Technologies to set up unit in Karnataka: Deputy CM

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ASUS-laptops

Noida-based leading manufacturer of laptop, tab and other consumer electronic goods – Dixon Technologies (India) Limited – has come forward to set up a manufacturing plant in Karnataka, Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwatha Narayana said here on Thursday.

Dixon Technologies (India) Ltd is an Indian electronics manufacturing services company and it is a contract manufacturer of televisions, washing machines, smartphones, LED bulbs, battens, downlighters and CCTV security systems for several multinational companies.

This company has manufacturing units in Noida, Dehradun and Tirupati, as well as the largest television, washing machine and bulb assembly plants in India.

Sunil Vachani, Executive President of the company submitted a proposal to Narayana, who holds the IT and BT portfolio, seeking land and other requirements to establish the unit. The company has sought 10-15 acres of land.

According to a statement released by the Deputy Chief Minister’s office, this project will be considered under the ambit of Electronic System and Design and Manufacturing (ESDM).

“Land parcels have been identified and will be given any one of the locations of Masthenahalli or Mindenalli of Kolara district, Haraluru of Bengaluru Rural district, Harohally of Ramanagar. As per the ESDM policy, the company will be eligible for the subsidy and other concessions if it establishes the plant outside the region of Bengaluru Urban district,” the Deputy Chief Minister explained.

Narayana also directed deputy commissioners to facilitate the company’s request and extend all help in attracting the investment and housing Dixon Technologies’ manufacturing plant in the state.

The statement added that the company which has a market value of over Rs 30,000 crore also makes Desktop Computers, CFL bulbs, LED TVs, CCTV, and washing machines.

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Business

Fuel price hike on hold for 3rd consecutive day

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Petrol

Oil marketing companies on Friday continued with their wait and watch strategy and kept the retail price of petrol and diesel unchanged for the third consecutive day.

Accordingly, petrol continues to be sold at Rs 90.93 a litre and diesel at Rs 81.32 a litre in the national capital.

Elsewhere in the country as well, fuel prices remained unchanged after oil companies increased the pump price on 13 of the last 18 days.

In the 13 increases since February 9, prices have gone up by Rs 3.98 per litre for petrol while diesel rate has risen by Rs 4.19 a litre in Delhi.

The price pause on Friday may be momentary as global oil prices are on the boil with benchmark Brent crude prices remaining above $ 66 a barrel. The product prices in the international market have also firmed up over restricted supplies and a demand pick up.

The increase of fuel prices in the previous weeks has taken petrol to cross historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.

In Mumbai, petrol price is just Rs 3 per litre short (Rs 97.34 a litre) of touching three digit mark of Rs 100 per litre for the very first time ever. Diesel price in the city is closing on Rs 90 a litre (Rs 88.44 a litre).

In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre-mark while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre. Premium petrol has crossed Rs 100 per litre-mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.

Since fuel prices are benchmarked to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate, pump prices can be expected to remain northbound over the next few days even if crude price stabilises.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 25 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.22 and Rs 7.45 per litre respectively so far this year.

Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making losses on sale of auto fuels.

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Mumbai Airport to reopen Terminal 1

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With a view to safeguard health and safety of passengers in Covid-19 times, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) will reopen its Terminal-1 (T1) for domestic flights from March 10, officials said here on Friday.

After the lockdown in late March 2020, T1 operations were suspended and were consolidated through Terminal-2 (T2) for convenience of passengers and stakeholders.

With the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai and many parts of Maharashtra, the CSMIA is hopeful that it will ensure strict adherence to physical-distancing norms by all passengers.

From March 10, GoAir, StarAir, AirAsia and Trujet will resume all their operations from T1, while IndiGo’s base flight will be operated from here and other flights shall continue from T2.

However, the CSMIA officials assure that even at T1, passengers shall be able to enjoy the luxurious lounges, world-class retail, food & beverages, etc while complying with higher levels of safety and hygiene.

The airport will make all other arrangements at T1 like stringent screening of passengers, personnel, disinfection and sanitization, face-masks and other necessary PPE kits, physical distancing through rearranged seating, plexi-glass to minimize face-to-face interactions, encouraging contactless payments, etc.

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