Farm loan waiver isn’t a good practice

The loan waivers and subsidies distort the credit discipline, said a former RBI governor

GN Bureau | January 5, 2018


#Farmers   #Agriculture   #Loan Waivers   #RBI  
Representational image. (GN)
Representational image. (GN)

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed that “a former governor of RBI in his letter to the Chief Election Commissioner had mentioned the risk of promising loan waivers by political parties at election time as beneficiaries stop making payment even if they are financially in a position to make them and that this affects the banking sector as well as the state finances”, finance minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha, without naming the former RBI chief.

RBI has also informed that the ex-governor, while addressing a conference organized jointly by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), had also stated that the loan waivers and subsidies distort the credit discipline, he said.

Read: Farm loan waivers to lead to deflationary shock: Economic Survey


The minister said that RBI has issued directions for relief measures to be provided by respective lending institutions in areas affected by natural calamities which, inter alia, include, restructuring/rescheduling of existing crop loans and term loans. The benchmark for initiating relief measures by banks has also been reduced to 33% crop loss in line with the National Disaster Management Framework.

As per RBI’s directions, all short-term loans, except those overdue at the time of natural calamity, are eligible for restructuring. RBI has advised the banks that the principal amount as well as the interest due for repayment in the year of occurrence of natural calamity may be converted into term loan. If the loss is between 33% and 50% maximum period of repayment is upto 2 years (including moratorium period of 1 year) and in case the loss is 50% or more maximum period of repayment is upto 5 years (including moratorium period of 1 year).

No financial assistance for loan waiver has been provided to states by union government during the last three years and the current year, said the minister.

Also read: Total cost of farm loan waiver about Rs 130,000 crore: RBI chief

 

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