The government is working with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the industry’s need for restructuring of loans to absorb the adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday. “The focus is on restructuring.
The Finance Ministry is actively engaged with RBI on this. In principle, the idea that there may be a restructuring required is well taken,” she said while addressing the national executive committee meeting of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Ms. Sitharaman said every step being announced is taken after exhaustive consultations with the stakeholders and within the government. Addressing the concerns raised by FICCI members on the difficulties faced by micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) in taking loans under the Emergency Credit Guarantee Scheme announced by the government, Ms. Sitharaman said banks cannot refuse credit to MSMEs covered under the emergency credit facility. “If refused, such instances must be reported. I will look into it,” the finance minister said. She also said that work is going on the development finance institution. Stressing on the need for reciprocity in trade deals, Ms. Sitharaman said: “Reciprocal arrangements are being asked with the countries, with which we have opened up our markets. Reciprocity is a very critical point in our trade negotiations.” The Finance Minister said the decision of reducing GST rates on healthcare and other products will be taken by the GST Council.