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Before declaring NPAs, Bankers have numerous duties to perform including rehabilitation not only once but multiple times – Important Information for Borrowers and their advocates

Our Associate and Banking Expert has drawn attention to the following important RBI Guidelines and circulars which will be highly useful to Borrowers and their Advocates. These need to be studied and important aspects included in the ‘Representation and Objections’ to notice u/s 13 of the Securitisation Act as well as in the application u/s 17 of the said Act:-


(a) Even before the prudential norms to declare accounts as NPA was brought by RBI to be implemented from 31st March 2004, RBI issued a circular DBS.CO.OSMOS/B.C./ 4/ 33.04.006 / 2002-2003 dated September 12, 2002 on “Guidelines on preventing slippage of NPA accounts” based on a study on preventing slippage of NPA accounts, addressed to The chairman/ Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer – All Commercial Banks (Excluding RRBs) which means it is applicable to all commercial banks irrespective of whether they are Indian banks or foreign banks or multi state co-operative banks. Since the circular cited now is issued previous to the circular issued for declaration of NPA, the guidelines as prescribed in the aforesaid circular has to be implemented first before declaring an account as NPA.


(b) RBI Master circular DBOD No.BP.BC.10/21.04.048/ 2004-05 dated July 17, 2004 where in prudential norms are given. As per the said circular of RBI, mere irregularity in the account cannot make it a Non Performing Asset. It depends upon the nature of irregularity.


(c) RBI circular RPCD.PLNFS.BC.No.31/06.02.31/2005-2006 dated August 19, 2005 highlights the “Policy Package for Stepping up Credit to Small and Medium Enterprises. - Further RBI circular RPCD.SME & NFS.BC.No.9/06.02.31/ 2010-11 dated July 1, 2010 under lending to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Sector among other things states about  Debt Restructuring Mechanism for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.


(d) That as per Government of India policy and RBI guidelines and directives, it is apparent that an account can be classified as NPA only when all the means of making the account performing, which includes repeated rehabilitation fail to produce the desired result, and then and then only, the legal proceedings under Securitization Act 2002 can be invoked and proceedings initiated by issuing the notice u/s 13(2) of the said Act.



Narendra Sharma, Consultant (Legal)

E-mail: nkdewas@yahoo.co.in


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