New Delhi: The Supreme Court will resume hearing next week in the interest waiver or loan moratorium case.

The Supreme Court heard a batch of petitions seeking interest waiver during the loan moratorium period today (November 19). During the hearing the apex court disposed off the petitions where petitioners were satisfied with the Central government's decision to waive “interest on interest" during the loan moratorium period.

The apex court bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan has also directed power producers and other petitioners to submit suggestions before Reserve Bank of India (RBI) counsels. Further, it has asked the Centre and RBI to reply to suggestions put forth before the bench on November 19. The SC then directed for the case to be listed next week.

Justices RS Reddy and MR Shah heard the arguments at length before adjourning the case to next week for a detailed hearing.

Beginning the arguments for the day, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, referred to the Centre’s affidavit filed on 9 October and apprised the bench about the numerous measures that have been taken by the finance ministry and RBI. He mentioned the Rs 20 lakh crore Atma Nirbhar package, ₹90,000 crore liquidity infusion into the stressed power distribution companies, relief given to the real estate sector and Rs 3 lakh crore package for MSMEs.

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He referred to Kamath committee’s report highlighting separate mechanism for restructuring the big and small loans by lending institutions.

Mehta asserted that the banks have been given “complete elasticity" to formulate resolutions plans and even the payment plans have been allowed to be rescheduled. “Granting moratorium based on the income stream of borrower."

“We have taken a decision that those who have paid EMIs during moratorium cannot be punished. Availed moratorium or not availed, or partly availed - all are eligible," submitted Mehta. He added, “banks have to lodge claim to SBI for which a separate nodal agency is created, they’ll verify, take it from Government and then pay it."

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the power producer companies, contended that there are various issues with the RBI circular which although has intended to give relief but has significant exclusion.

Singhvi sought directions for allowing the restriction of loans from LIC, alternate investment funds, FPIs and foreign private banks as power producers borrow majorly from them. He said, even before covid lockdowns were announced, the Parliamentary panel on 7 March had backed loan restructuring for us. "A large number of our lenders are not allowed to restructure our loans. FPIs, LIC are not allowed to fund us, which should be allowed. These loopholes need to be rectified by the RBI….We have a total debt of 1.2 lakh crores." Singhvi said.