Moratorium period on loan repayment ‘extendable’ by two years

The moratorium period on repayment of loans during the COVID-19 pandemic is “extendable” by two years and several steps have been taken to help the stressed sectors, the Centre and the RBI told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan was informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and Reserve Bank of India, that the economy contracted by nearly 24 per cent in the April-June quarter due to coronavirus-related lockdown and restrictions.

The bench, also comprising Justices RS Reddy and MR Shah, said it would hear on Wednesday the pleas which have raised the issue of interest being charged on instalments which have been deferred under the central bank’s scheme during the moratorium period.

At the outset, Mehta told the bench that the Centre has filed its affidavit in the matter. When the court said that it has not yet received the affidavit, he said the bench should look into it and the matter be listed after two-three days.

Mehta said several steps have been taken for stressed sectors. “Let the Central government, RBI and bankers put their head together on the aspect of interest on interest,” he said. “The moratorium is extendable by two years,” he added.