Interest-on-interest waiver: Crop, tractor loans not part of ex-gratia relief scheme

NEW DELHI, Oct 30:
Agriculture and allied activity loans are not eligible for the interest on interest waiver announced by the Government last week, the finance Ministry has clarified.
Issuing additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the ‘scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest’, it said credit card dues outstanding as on February 29 would be considered for giving relief to the borrowers.
The benchmark rate applicable for such relief would be the contract rate, which is used by the credit card issuers for the purpose of EMI loans, it added.
Crop and tractor loans come under agriculture and allied activities loans and are not part of the eight segments or classes eligible under the scheme, it added.
The relief shall cover the following segments — MSME loans, education loans, housing loans, consumer durable loans, credit card dues, automobile loans, personal loans to professionals and consumption loans, according to the FAQs released by the ministry earlier on Wednesday.
The Reserve Bank had on Tuesday asked all lending institutions, including non-banking financial companies, to ensure that the scheme of waiver of interest on interest for loans up to Rs 2 crore for the six-month moratorium period is implemented by November 5, as decided by the government.
Last Friday, the government had announced the scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts.
Loan accounts with sanctioned limits and outstanding not exceeding Rs 2 crore (aggregate of all facilities with all the lending institutions) will be eligible and such accounts should be standard in the books of the lending institutions as on cut off date of February 29, 2020.
The period reckoned for refund shall be from March 1 to August 21, 2020, that is six months period or 184 days, it said.
The ex-gratia relief will be credited to the account of all eligible borrowers without any requirement to apply, it said.
As per the scheme, the lending institutions shall credit the difference between compound interest and simple interest with regard to the eligible borrowers in respective accounts for the said period irrespective of whether the borrower fully or partially availed the moratorium on repayment of loan announced by the RBI on March 27, 2020.
The scheme is also applicable on those who have not availed the moratorium scheme and continued with the repayment of loans.
The scheme, which was announced as per the direction of the Supreme Court, is likely to cost the exchequer Rs 6,500 crore. (PTI)