The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed two more weeks time to the government to come up with something concrete for various sectors in the loan moratorium matter.
Being strict on the case, the apex court said that this is the last chance for the centre and the Reserve Bank of India to come up with a plan to address the issues and refused to adjourn the case any further.
“What is going to happen in two weeks? We are giving time to the centre, but take a concrete decision,” it said.
Court’s remarks came during the hearing of a batch of petitions seeking a waiver of interest of EMIs during the moratorium period.
During the hearing, the Centre told the Supreme Court that considerations are taking place at the highest level with the banks and other stakeholders for relief.
Two-three rounds of meeting have taken place and the concerns are being examined, it said.
Last week, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that the moratorium period for loans can be extended by two years as per the Reserve Bank of India circular.
Representing the Centre government, the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had urged the court to allow the Centre to discuss the issue with the central bank and the bankers’ association and arrive at a solution on the issue of waiving the “interest on interest” during the loan moratorium period.
“There are more issues involved, GDP is down 23 per cent and the economy is stressed,” he said.
The moratorium provided by the central government due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic has come to an end on August 31.
On August 26, the Supreme Court had sought the Centre’s reply and to make its stand clear on giving moratorium on charging interest on loans as well as interest-on-interest during moratorium period declared during the Coronavirus pandemic.
During a hearing against financial institutions levying interest on loans while the temporary suspension period was on, the top court pulled up the Centre for not taking a stand on waiver of interest on interest during the loan moratorium period.
The apex court observed that it appears the Centre is hiding behind the Reserve Bank of India’s decision on this issue, especially when it has ample powers under Disaster Management Act, where it can take a decision by stopping the banks from charging interest on deferred EMIs and waive interest on interest for a moratorium period.