Loan moratorium: Centre informs SC of proactive steps taken for all sectors

Amitha Muraleedharan

The Centre informed the Supreme Court that under the Covid -19 pandemic, the loan moratorium is a fiscal policy matter, which the government has taken various steps for all the sectors.

While apprising about the measures taken by the RBI and the Ministry of Finance, the Centre told the bench that no further indulgence will be given if the petitioners say that there could be more options, as it is not a case of “no action.”

The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan also told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that seeking sector-specific reliefs is not a remedy available under Article 32 of the Constitution.

On March 27, the RBI had issued the circular allowing the lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of installments of term loans falling due between March 1 and May 31, in the wake of the pandemic.
Later, the period was extended to August 31, 2020.

During the hearing, SG Tushar Mehta told the Court that the disaster management authorities performed all the necessary steps for the pandemic.

He stated that several relief measures, which were announced, and the decisions were taken by the concerned authorities keeping in mind specific sectors.

SG Mehta also mentioned the ‘Aatma Nirbhar’ economic stimulus package and other such reliefs granted by the government.

The bench also heard submissions of Senior Advocate Dr. A M Singhvi concerning issues of power generating companies.

The Court allowed counsel for the parties to submit the suggestions to counsel for the RBI and solicitor general within three days.