Raghuram Rajan, the former RBI Governor, has cautioned the government about next crisis in the making stating government should refrain from setting ambitious credit targets or waiving loans. In a note on bank non-performing assets (NPAs) prepared at the request of Murli Manohar Joshi, Chairman of the Parliament Estimates Committee, Rajan said the government should focus on sources of the next crisis, not just the last one.Also Read - Good News for Beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi! 12 lakh Farmers to get Kisan Credit Card; Here's How One Can Apply
Rajan said that credit targets are sometimes achieved by abandoning appropriate due diligence, creating the environment for future NPAs. He cautioned MUDRA and the Kisan Credit Card can be potential credit risks for the economy. Also Read - Babri Masjid Demolition Case: Verdict on September 30; All Accused Including Advani, Joshi Asked to Be Present in Court
Rajan stated, “Both MUDRA loans as well as the Kisan Credit Card, while popular, have to be examined more closely for potential credit risk. The Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSME (CGTMSE) run by SIDBI is a growing contingent liability and needs to be examined with urgency.” Also Read - GDP Numbers Should Alarm us All, Govt Needs to be Frightened Out of Their Complacency: Rajan
MUDRA loans are offered under the Prime Minister Mudra Yojana or PMMY, which was launched in 2015 by the NDA government. A total of Rs 82,440 crore has so far been disbursed in the financial year 2018-2019, under the scheme by public and private sector banks, regional rural banks and micro-finance institutions till date, as per data from the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) website.
He also stated, “Loan waivers, as RBI has repeatedly argued, vitiate the credit culture, and stress the budgets of the waiving state or central government. They are poorly targeted, and eventually reduce the flow of credit. Agriculture needs serious attention, but not through loan waivers. An all-party agreement to this effect would be in the nation’s interest, especially given the impending elections.”
On strengthening the NPA recovery process further, Rajan stated, “Both the out of court restructuring process and the bankruptcy process need to be strengthened and made speedy. The former requires protecting the ability of 17 bankers to make commercial decisions without subjecting them to inquiry. The latter requires steady modifications where necessary to the bankruptcy code so that it is effective, transparent, and not gamed by unscrupulous promoters.”