RBI issues new circular on resolution of stressed assets

Last Updated: Sat, Jun 08, 2019 12:21 hrs
FILE PHOTO: A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) logo is seen at the entrance gate of its headquarters in Mumbai

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India on Friday issued a revised framework for resolution of stressed assets allowing lenders to start resolution process within 30 days of default.

The circular comes after the Supreme Court in April struck down the apex bank's previous circular which mandated that the resolution process begin immediately on the day after default of loans worth over Rs 2,000 crore.

It gives banks flexibility to put in place their own policies, approved by their board.

"All lenders must put in place board-approved policies for resolution of stressed assets, including the timelines for resolution," the circular read.

"Since default with any lender is a lagging indicator of financial stress faced by the borrower, it is expected that the lenders initiate the process of implementing a resolution plan (RP) even before a default."

Accordingly, the new circular has provided lenders with complete discretion to lenders with regard to design and implementation of resolution plans, in supersession of earlier resolution schemes, "subject to the specified timeline and independent credit evaluation".

However, a system of disincentives in the form of additional provisioning for delay in implementation of resolution plan has been incorporated in the circualr.

"It is expected that the current circular will sustain the improvements in credit culture that have been ushered in by the efforts of the government and the Reserve Bank of India so far and that it will go a long way in promoting a strong and resilient financial system in India," RBI said in a statement.

Earlier, the Supreme Court's April 2 order raised questions over the fate of about eight power projects including the 3,600 MW KSK Mahanadi Power Co Ltd, 1,920 MW Lanco Amarkantak Power Ltd, 600 MW Avantha Power, 1,350 MW Rattan India Power Ltd, 550 MW RKM Powergen and 700 MW Bharat Utkal.

These projects were referred by a consortium of lenders including the Power Finance Corp to the NCLT as per the provisions of the February 12 RBI circular, which said it would be mandatory for projects in default to be referred to the NCLT after 180 days from start of the resolution period.

As 180 days for these projects ended in August, they were referred to the NCLT.