FM Nirmala Sitharaman
FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Photo by PTI

The novel coronavirus outbreak and consequent lockdown has put a strain on the finances of many. With many businesses and shops shut even now, and people being urged to remain at home, the situation appears rather grim.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman however offered some hope on Thursday evening, as she took to Twitter to provide data on loans and credit lines availed in March and April 2020.

"Economy poised to recover!" Sitharaman added in her first tweet.

She added that the public sector bank in India had complemented the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the loan moratorium that it had allowed recently. For the uninitiated, on March 27, the RBI had allowed banks and financial institutions to offer a moratorium of three months on payment of installments for all term loans outstanding as on March 1. This was intended to help mitigate the hardships faced by borrowers.

According to reports, the RBI is mulling an extension of the same.

Sitharaman tweeted stating that the RBI's "effective communication and proactive actions" had ensured that over 3.2 crore accounts availed the three-month moratorium.

"Quick query redressals allayed customer concerns. Ensuring responsible banking amid lockdown," she added.

"During March-April 2020, PSBs sanctioned loans worth Rs 5.66 lakh crore for more than 41.81 lakh accounts. These borrowers are from MSME, Retail, Agriculture and Corporate sectors, waiting for disbursal soon after lockdown lifts," she wrote.

In a follow-up tweet the Finance Minister added that for MSMEs and others, "pre-approved Emergency credit lines and working capital enhancements" were being prioritised by PSBs.

"More than 27 lakh customers contacted from March 20 and 2.37 lakh cases sanctioned loans worth Rs. 26,500 crore. A work in progress," Sitharaman tweeted.

Sitharaman said that sustained credit flow to NBFCs and HFCs were being maintained amidst COVID-19.

"PSBs sanctioned loans worth Rs. 77,383 crore between March 1 and May 4. Inclusive of TLTRO funds, extended total financing of Rs. 1.08 lakh crore, ensuring business stability and continuity going forward," she tweeted.

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