cases in India: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday reduced the reverse repo rate by 25 basis points (bps) to 3.75% to tackle the impact of the coronavirus on the Indian economy. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das also announced a Rs 50,000-crore special refinance package for Nabard, Sidbi, and NHB.
The total number of coronavirus cases in India jumped to 13387 and the death toll mounted to 437, according to the Health Ministry on Friday.
World update on coronavirus: The global coronavirus death toll passed 140,000, with nearly two-thirds of all fatalities in Europe, according to an AFP tally. In total, 140,902 people have died of the virus, including 92,900 in Europe, the hardest hit continent in the world. There are now more than 2.1 million recorded infections globally.
Nirmala Sitharaman on RBI steps over coronavirus
In view of the difficulties being faced due to #COVID19, the RBI has taken a slew of steps aimed at maintaining adequate liquidity in the system, incentivizing bank credit flows, easing financial stress, and enabling the normal functioning of markets. To increase MSME liquidity, RBI announced a targeted long-term repo operation totaling Rs 50,000 crore aimed at mid and small NBFCs and MFIs. This amount can be revised upwards if needed in the future. RBI also cut the reverse repo rate by 25 bps to 3.75%. In order to increase to credit farmers, MSMEs, and the housing sector, RBI announced a special refinance facility totaling Rs 50,000 crore for NABARD, SIDBI, and the National Housing Bank. Of this, Rs 25,000 crore goes to NABARD, Rs 15,000 crore to SIDBI, and Rs 10,000 crore to NHB. To ease the worries of MSMEs that are in danger of becoming NPA accounts, it has now been decided that the NPA classification norms will exclude the 3-month moratorium window that banks are allowed to give on loan repayments. The RBI has increased the ways and means advance limit for states to 60% over and above the level as on March 31 to help state governments tide over cash flow problems due to a temporary dip in revenue collections.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her office in New Delhi. (Source: Nirmala Sitharaman)