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RBI allows fresh moratorium for some small borrowers amid Covid-19 crisis


RBI Governor Shaktikanta DasRBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India asked banks on Wednesday to let certain borrowers have more time to repay loans, among other support measures, amid a major second wave of Covid-19 infections in the country that has led to strict lockdowns in several states.
The moratorium will be available to individuals and small and medium enterprises that have not restructured their loans in 2020 and were classified as standard accounts till March 2021, Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das said in a virtual address.
The RBI also announced Rs 50,000 crore priority lending by banks for hospitals, oxygen suppliers, vaccine importers, Covid drugs by March 31, 2022.
The RBI governor said the second purchase of government securities worth Rs 35,000 crore under the G-sec Acquisition Programme (G-SAP 1.0) will be done on May 20 for an orderly evolution of the yield curve as a fresh Covid-19 wave threatens to hit the economy.
The first purchase of Rs 25,000 crore last month received enthusiastic response from the market, Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das said while announcing slew of measures to provide relief to various segments of economy hit by the second wave of the pandemic.
RBI will do second purchase of government securities (G-secs) aggregating Rs 35,000 crore in two weeks, he said.
To provide clarity on its bond-buying programme through open market operations (OMO), Das had announced Rs 1 lakh crore target for the first quarter under the new instrument called G-SAP 1.0.
On the rate of price rise, he said, food and fuel inflation have pushed core inflation.
Expected normal monsoon forecast should help contain food price inflation, he added.
The RBI governor, in an unscheduled announcement, said the central bank will continue to monitor the situation from resurgence of COVID-19 cases and deploy all resources.
“We have to marshal our resources for fighting the virus with vigour,” he added.

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