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                          Last updated: 11 May, 2021  

                          RBI.Thmb.jpg RBI's liquidity push

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                          Bikky Khosla | 11 May, 2021

                          In a welcome move, the RBI last week announced a series of liquidity measures to combat economic turbulence unleashed by the resurgence of Covid-19. They include, amid others, an on-tap liquidity window of Rs 50,000 crore to set up Covid-related healthcare infra, a second tranche of Rs 35,000 crore under government securities acquisition programme, and a 3-year special long-term repo operations of Rs10,000 crore for small finance banks.

                          It is also noteworthy that the central bank unveiled a new resolution framework for Covid-related stressed assets of individuals, small businesses and MSMEs. Under this new arrangement, small businesses and MSMEs not availing restructuring earlier and having aggregate exposure of up to Rs 25 crore will be eligible to be considered subject to certain conditions, while in respect to those restructured earlier, banks have been permitted to review the working capital sanctioned limits.

                          These liquidity-pushing measures are encouraging as they will definitely ease liquidity concerns of our businesses and entrepreneurs, thus instilling a sense of security among them, but these measures need to be supplemented by the Centre and states. The vaccination drive must be ramped up and the Centre and states must come together to fight against the pandemic -- for lives of citizens -- and at the same time to safeguard the economy.

                          Meanwhile, bank credit growth has started to show a concerning trend. It hit a record low of 5.6% in fiscal 2020-21, and according to recent data published by the RBI, slipped further in April. Amid the pandemic situation, while health crisis and related lockdowns are hitting credit demand, banks -- with their work coming to a bare minimum -- are turning more cautious as well. Amid this situation, the latest announcements by the RBI are welcome.

                          I invite your opinions.

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