The Supreme Court on Thursday provided some relief to stressed borrowers who are facing hardship due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic. The bench said that accounts which were not declared as non-performing assets till August 31 this year, shall not be declared NPA till further orders, and adjourned the next hearing in the loan moratorium matter until next week Thursday, on September 10.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said this while hearing a batch of pleas which have raised the issue of interest being charged on installments which were deferred during the moratorium period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The apex court passed the order while noting the submissions of senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for banks' association and said that no account shall become NPA at least for a period of two months.
In view of the above, the accounts which were not declared NPA till August 31, 2020 shall not be declared NPA till further orders, the bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said in its order.
In the previous hearing, the Centre and RBI Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the moratorium period on repayment of loans amid the Covid-19 pandemic is “extendable” by two years. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), told a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan that several steps have been taken for stressed sectors and the economy has contracted by 23 percent due to the pandemic.