Times Now 10/25/2020
New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday shared the guidelines for waiver of compound interest (interest on interest) on loans upto Rs 2 crore where borrowers opted for the government moratorium during the lockdown. However, those who did not opt for a moratorium will also get an ex-gratia payment or cashback.
The payment would be made to small business entities and individual borrowers with loans up to Rs Rs 2 crore.
The Finance Ministry on Friday notified all Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulated lenders including commercial and co-operative banks, housing finance companies and microfinance institutions, mentioning that the Centre has approved a “scheme for grant of ex gratia payment of the difference between simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts” between March 1 and August 31, 2020.
This follows Centre’s affidavit in the Supreme Court (SC) that the government will foot the bill for waiving off the difference between simple interest and compound interest charged on loans during the moratorium period.
In the wake of lockdown, the central bank had announced a moratorium on repayment of loans for a period of three months and later extended the same for three months till August 31. A petition was filed in the SC that all interest on all loans should be waived off during the moratorium period owing to extreme hardship faced by the people during the lockdown.
Who will waiver apply to?
For loans below Rs 2 crore, individuals and entities in 8 categories will be eligible for interest waiver scheme. These include micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) loans, education loans, housing loans, consumer durables loans, credit card dues, auto loans, personal and professional, consumption loans.
RBI-regulated lenders, including banks, cooperative banks, housing finance companies and microfinance institutions will be eligible for the scheme.
How will interest waiver scheme work?
The government’s interest waiver scheme mandates ex-gratia payment of the difference between simple interest and compound interest for the moratorium period of six months i.e March 1, 2020 till August 31, 2020.
The rate of interest will be the same as the one mentioned in the documents of the loan agreement in case of education, automobile, housing, personal and consumer loans. For credit cards, it will be the weighted average lending rate (WALR) charged by the lender for payments financed on EMI basis. The interest rate levied as a penalty and late payments will not be included as part of WALR.
The lenders have to credit the difference to eligible borrowers by November 5.
"The lending institutions shall credit the difference between compound interest and simple interest with regard to the eligible borrowers, irrespective of whether such borrowers have fully availed or partially availed or not availed of the moratorium on repayment of the respective loans," the finance ministry statement said.