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Contact-intensive sectors get Rs 15,000-cr liquidity window

Under the contact-intensive scheme, banks can provide fresh lending support to hotels and restaurants; tourism-travel agents, tour operators and adventure/heritage facilities, aviation ancillary services.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday announced a slew of liquidity measures, including a Rs 15,000-crore liquidity window for contact-intensive sectors like hotels and tourism, a special liquidity facility of Rs 16,000 crore to SIDBI, securities purchases of Rs 40,000 crore and an increase in the coverage of borrowers under the resolution framework scheme by enhancing the maximum exposure limit from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore for MSMEs, small businesses and loans to individuals for business purposes.

Under the contact-intensive scheme, banks can provide fresh lending support to hotels and restaurants; tourism-travel agents, tour operators and adventure/heritage facilities, aviation ancillary services — ground handling and supply chain, and other services that include private bus operators, car repair services, rent-a-car service providers, event/conference organizers, spa clinics, and beauty parlours/saloons. These sectors were hit by lockdowns in states amid the raging Covid pandemic.

“By way of an incentive, banks will be permitted to park their surplus liquidity up to the size of the loan book created under this scheme with the Reserve Bank under the reverse repo window at a rate which is 25 bps lower than the repo rate or, termed in a different way, 40 bps higher than the reverse repo rate,” the RBI said while unveiling the monetary policy.

“In order to mitigate the adverse impact of the second wave of the pandemic on certain contact-intensive sectors, a separate liquidity window of Rs 15,000 crores is being opened till March 31, 2022 with tenors of up to three years at the repo rate,” the RBI said. On May 5, the RBI said it will open an on-tap liquidity window of Rs 50,000 crore with tenors of up to three years at the repo rate — 4 per cent — till March 31, 2022 to boost provision of immediate liquidity for ramping up Covid-related healthcare infrastructure and services in the country.

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The RBI has decided to expand the coverage of borrowers under the scheme by enhancing the maximum aggregate exposure threshold from Rs 25 crore to Rs 50 crore for MSMEs, non-MSME small businesses and loans to individuals for business purposes.

The central bank has decided to extend a special liquidity facility of Rs 16,000 crore to SIDBI for on-lending/ refinancing through novel models and structures to further support the funding requirements of MSMEs, particularly smaller MSMEs and other businesses including those in credit deficient and aspirational districts. This facility will be available at the prevailing policy repo rate for a period of up to one year, which may be further extended depending on its usage, the RBI said. The RBI has decided to conduct another operation under G-SAP (government securities acquisition programme) for purchase of G-Secs of Rs 40,000 crore on June 17, 2021. Of this, Rs 10,000 crore would constitute purchase of state development loans (SDLs). It has also decided to undertake another G-SAP in Q2 of 2021-22 and conduct secondary market purchase operations of Rs 1.20 lakh crore to support the market.

Meanwhile, the National Automated Clearing House (NACH) will be available on all days of the week effective August 1.

First published on: 05-06-2021 at 01:02:28 am
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