A new petition has been filed in the Supreme Court, this time requesting help for borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The petitioner has requested several steps, including a new loan moratorium, an extension of the time limit under the loan restructuring scheme, and a temporary halt to bank declarations of non-performing assets (NPA).
According to the petition, the RBI circular for Resolution Plan 2.0, released on May 6, 2021, does not provide sufficient relief to everyone in the current circumstances.
The petitioner has also requested that property taxes, fees, and fines be waived during lockdown times, as well as a two-year interest-free loan moratorium and salary payments through direct transfers.
The Supreme Court petition comes to the assistance of many borrowers around the country who are suffering from severe financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which has placed many states on partial or full lockdown.
Advocate Vishal Tiwari filed the petition, requesting immediate relief from the court because the central government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have failed to take appropriate steps to assist the common man, who is currently facing severe financial hardship.
"Such non-action and reluctance on the part of the Respondents have violated the fundamental rights of livelihood and dignity and therefore requires the immediate intervention of this Court in the interest of public justice," the petition mentioned.
Even though a loan moratorium was granted during last year's lockdown, many people who chose the moratorium programme had to pay a higher sum because interest was already accruing on the principal.
The petitioner while stating that immediate enforcement of the preliminary measures is required to uphold the violation of fundamental rights, has made the following suggestions :
- Property Taxes, fines and penalties should be waived during all lockdown periods
- Have paid salaries last lockdown by taking the ECLG loans and requests that staff salaries be paid via direct transfer
- Moratorium should be given for at least 2 years – without interest piling up – pause it completely although after the first lock down principal amount went up substantially with huge compound interest such should not be imposed this time.
- ECLG loans be given again, rents, electricity and phone bills also needs to be disbursed.
- Vaccination drives need to be immediately increased with the compliance to covid protocols.