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RBI to address liquidity woes

Jan 8 (AZINS) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will take the steps to address any shortage of liquidity in the economy, its governor Shaktikanta Das said after a meeting with the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The governor will be meeting the non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) today to discuss the liquidity issue in the sector. “I’m meeting the representatives of NBFCs. We will get a perspective from the NBFCs on various issues,” he said on Monday.

Das has already met representatives of the private and the public sector banks as well as of the cooperative banks.

The NBFC sector has been facing a severe liquidity crunch since September following the defaults by infrastructure lender IL&FS.

Das said liquidity situation in the system is being monitored for any shortage and at the same time the central bank is keeping a watch so that loose money or excess liquidity situation is not created.

Based on several meetings with the stakeholders to get a sense of the current liquidity situation, the RBI had recently announced open market operations of Rs 60,000 crore to meet additional liquidity requirement.

“We do believe that the liquidity requirement of the economy and financial institutions to a great extent are met,” he said.

RBI is constantly monitoring the liquidity situation and will take steps whenever there is a need, he further said.  And at the same time, “the RBI would not like a situation where the liquidity becomes a kind of loose money. Any infusion of liquidity will have to be very carefully considered and has to be need-based.”

“So, therefore, the caution and care have to be exercised by the RBI so that excess liquidity is not created,” Das added.

On the question of the areas still facing a liquidity problem, he said, “It’s market-related information. Anything that I say on this matter during market hours has other implications.”

Das, who had a two-hour interaction with the MSME sector on Monday, said, “The purpose of the meeting was to get a viewpoint about the current state of functioning of the MSMEs and the implementation of the restructuring scheme which the RBI has announced earlier. We will examine the issues raised by them,” he said.

In order to help the MSME sector facing a cash crunch, the RBI last week issued a circular permitting one-time restructuring of existing loans up to Rs 25 crore.

The effort is to see that maximum number of units get the benefit keeping in the mind the viability aspect, Das said, adding that the banks have been asked to look at the viability of individual MSMEs. Das said the banks have been asked to place the matter before the Board and come out with guidelines to examine the viability of individual proposals and also monitoring of the performance of such restructured assets and units.

“We do hope that banks and MSME units will work together to see that the scheme is implemented in letter and spirit in a manner that maximum units benefit,” he added.

Industry chambers CII and Assocham also participated in the meeting. Expressing satisfaction over the performance of the banking sector, Das said, “One issue which engages our attention on an almost daily basis is the state of non-performing assets (NPA) and health of public sector banks. Our both Financial Stability Report (FSR) and Trends & Progress in Indian Banking Report have given out figures and there is definitely an improvement noticed in the reduction of NPA levels of banks as a whole and public sector in particular.”