KATHMANDU, Feb 16: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has barred banks from keeping the COVID-19 hit firms in the blacklist if the concerned companies are unable to pay loan dues of up to six months.
Unveiling the mid-term review of the Monetary Policy 2020/21, the central bank has asked the banks not to take the assets of such firms into auction till mid-July even if they fail to pay monthly installments. The regulator has enforced the rule at a time when a number of banks have been threatening the borrowers to make public their profiles in daily newspapers or to blacklist them as loan defaulters.
The revised monetary policy has also announced additional relief packages to the suffering firms that have not done the rescheduling of the loan repayments. In this regard, the firms have been given flexibility to reschedule loan payments period to mid-July by paying just five percent of interest dues. Earlier, the amount was fixed at 10 percent of the interest dues while the moratorium period was given only up to mid-January.
The monetary policy has maintained the cash reserve ratio unchanged at three percent and bank rate at the previous rate of five percent. Similarly, the statutory liquidity ratio has also been fixed at 10 percent, eight percent and seven percent respectively for A, B and C class of banks and financial institutions.
Through the revised policy, the central bank has talked about increasing access of small hydropower projects with less than 10 MW capacities to the special refinance facility amid impacts of COVID-19.