Indian banks say government interest waiver will add to costs, spark litigation

By Nupur Anand

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian bankers fear the government’s decision to waive some interest payments on loans under a COVID-19 support plan will create unnecessary work for lenders and lead to more litigation, without providing much of a boost for the sagging economy.

In an Oct. 2 filing with the Supreme Court, seen by Reuters, the government said it is amending a controversial clause in a relief plan that allowed distressed borrowers to skip repayments for six months but then charged them “interest-on-interest” on the delayed payments, putting them deeper in debt.

The change will waive the compounded interest component on small business loans and some personal debts from March to August.

The government will bear the cost, which could be as high as $1 billion, according to analysts.

But for Indian lenders saddled with over $120 billion of bad loans and a coronavirus-induced collapse in demand, the

Read More