The meeting of the board of the Reserve Bank of India ended after over nine hours. Sources say the meeting ended with the central bank agreeing to set up a panel on sharing surplus reserves and restructure loans of small businesses up to Rs. 25 crore.
The friction between the bank and the government is over three key issues - including excess reserves. RBI has surplus reserves of Rs. 3.6 lakh crore, which the government says can be used for development. The centre is also concerned about RBI's restrictions on banks that have massive bad debts and a low capital base. RBI has barred 11 state-run banks from lending and demanded that they shore up their capital base. On lending to non-banking financial companies and MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), the bank says there is enough liquidity in the market. The government wants the RBI to allow banks to lend more to these sectors, especially the MSME.
Though the government has maintained it has no intention of forcing the RBI's hand to do its bidding, the opposition has alleged the NDA regime intends to plough into the precious reserves of the central bank in election season. With a heightened sense of alertness, the markets and investors are also closely watched the development.
Here is RBI's full statement after the 9-hour board meet:
The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Central Board met today in Mumbai and discussed the Basel regulatory capital framework, a restructuring scheme for stressed MSMEs, bank health under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework and the Economic Capital Framework (ECF) of RBI. The Board decided to constitute an expert committee to examine the ECF, the membership and terms of reference of which will be jointly determined by the Government of India and the RBI.
The Board also advised that the RBI should consider a scheme for restructuring of stressed standard assets of MSME borrowers with aggregate credit facilities of up to ₹ 250 million, subject to such conditions as are necessary for ensuring financial stability.
The Board, while deciding to retain the CRAR at 9%, agreed to extend the transition period for implementing the last tranche of 0.625% under the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB), by one year, i.e., up to March 31, 2020. With regard to banks under PCA, it was decided that the matter will be examined by the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS) of RBI.
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