₹18,500 cr. debt to be repaid in three months: MFIs tell RBI

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With banks declining to extend a moratorium to non-banking finance companies and micro-finance institutions, micro-lenders have informed the Reserve Bank of India that they have to repay a debt of ₹18,500 crore in the next three months.

Though the NBFCs have extended loan moratorium to their customers, in the absence of a similar benefit from their lenders, that is commercial banks, they are staring at a potential liquidity crisis. Their woes have been compounded as banks are reluctant to extend loans. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das met NBFCs, including MFIs, and mutual fund industry representatives in two separate meetings on Monday.

Micro-lenders’ association Sa-dhan, which attended the meeting, suggested direct lending by the RBI to micro-finance institutions to tide over the liquidity crisis.

Sa-dhan also urged that the moratorium be extended until June 30, 2020, as March payments were mostly done by customers. The lender also sought relaxation on asset classification norms for another three months, that is, up to September 30, 2020.

A statement from the RBI said that in a meeting with representatives of NBFCs and micro-lenders, issues regarding availability of liquidity from banks and implementation of moratorium were discussed.

Post-lockdown strategies for supply of credit were also discussed.

In the meeting with representatives of the mutual funds industry, issues like the impact of measures taken by the RBI regarding provision of liquidity and functioning of the bond markets were discussed.

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