New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre and urged it to implement the interest waiver on loans of up to Rs 2 crore “as soon as possible” under the RBI moratorium scheme in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order came in response to the government’s request for one month’s time to roll out the waiver. Also Read – COVID-19 Vaccine Latest Update: Who Will be The First to be Cured of Coronavirus in India? Know Here
The top court has set the deadline on November 2 to issue circular on the interest waiver of loans. Also Read – India’s Public Debt, Stable Since 1991, To Jump to 90% Due to COVID-19 Pandemic: IMF
“The common people are worried. We are concerned with people with loan up to 2 crores… The common man’s Diwali this year is in the government’s hands,” said Justice MR Shah, as part of the three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. Also Read – Things to Keep in Mind if You’re Taking Care of a COVID-19 Positive Patient
Something concrete has to be done, the bench said, adding that benefits of waivers to borrowers up to Rs 2 crore must be implemented as soon as possible.
The Centre recently told the apex court that going any further than the fiscal policy decisions already taken, such as waiver of compound interest charged on loans of up to Rs 2 crore for six months moratorium period, may be “detrimental” to the overall economic scenario, the national economy and banks may not take “inevitable financial constraints”.
“The government has taken a welcome decision taking note of the plight of the common man. But you have not issued any order to anybody. You have simply given us the affidavit,” the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
Notably, the top court is hearing a batch of petitions which have raised issues concerning the six-month loan moratorium period announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, the RBI on March 27 had issued the circular which allowed lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans due between March 1 and May 31 this year due to the pandemic.
Later, the period of the moratorium was extended till August 31 this year.