Plea in SC seeks fresh loan moratorium

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a fresh loan moratorium, extension of time period under the restructuring scheme and a temporary cease on the declaration of non-performing assets (NPAs) by banks and financial institutions to help citizens tide over the second wave of COVID-19, which has wrecked families, businesses both emotionally and financially.

“We are witnessing the second wave of COVID-19, which has resulted in heavy human casualties. The second wave has pushed again the entire country towards lockdown. As Corona has brought disaster, the lockdown is also proving disastrous for the economy,” the petition filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, who is appearing in person, said.

A big part of the country’s population were daily-wage earners, from labourers to lawyers, he noted.

“Lockdown has paused everything. The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic in India has brought serious repercussions in the form of unemployment, failed businesses and unengaged practice of professionals. Such situation has now questioned the sustenance of the individuals. Various people have lost jobs during this situation,” the petition pointed out.

It said that as many families were trying to save the lives of their loved ones, running from pillar to post to arrange beds, medicines, etc, they faced financial hardships. In certain cases, the breadwinners were in hospital, some in critical condition.

‘A real struggle’

“It has become a real struggle to pay the monthly instalments… defaults in paying the EMIs shows the present reduced capacity of individuals to pay their loans. Also, there is no constant and secured income for many,” Mr. Tiwari explained.

Despite these hardships, the lawyer questioned why the government had not declared any monetary relief or packages for people facing “tremendous pressure” to maintain their EMIs. These people, besides the apprehensions caused by the pandemic, lived under the threat of their accounts being declared NPAs.

“The Reserve Bank of India on May 6 has a circular for resolution plan 2.0 (for stressed MSMEs), which cannot be said adequate relief to all in the present circumstances being arbitrary, unfair and just an eyewash,” the petition said.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 8:49:39 AM |

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