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Additionally, the ICA may, inter alia, provide for rights and duties of majority lenders, duties and protection of rights of dissenting lenders, treatment of lenders with priority in cash flows/differential security interest, etc. Restructuring of loans in the event of a natural calamity, including asset classification and provisioning, shall continue to be guided as per the extant instructions. The framework shall not be available for borrower entities in respect of which specific instructions have already been issued or are issued by the Reserve Bank to the banks for initiation of insolvency proceedings under the IBC. The extant instructions on resolution of stressed assets such as Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets, Corporate Debt Restructuring Scheme, Flexible Structuring of Existing Long Term Project Loans, Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR), Change in Ownership outside SDR, and Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) stand withdrawn with immediate effect.In particular, the RPs shall provide for payment not less than the liquidation value due to the dissenting lenders. In respect of accounts with aggregate exposure above a threshold with the lenders, as indicated below, on or after the ‘reference date’, RP shall be implemented within 180 days from the end of Review Period. Lenders shall pursue such cases as per the specific instructions issued to them. Accordingly, the Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) as mandatory institutional mechanism for resolution of stressed accounts also stands discontinued. The list of circulars/directions/guidelines that stand repealed is given in Annex - 3. The lenders shall not reverse the provisions maintained as on April 2, 2019 in respect of any borrower unless the reversal is a consequence of an asset classification upgrade or recovery or resolution following the instructions of this circular.RPs involving restructuring / change in ownership in respect of accounts where the aggregate exposure of lenders is ₹ 1 billion and above, shall require independent credit evaluation (ICE) of the residual debt by credit rating agencies (CRAs) specifically authorised by the Reserve Bank for this purpose. BC.2//2015-16 dated July 1, 2015 on ‘Prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning pertaining to Advances’. Section I(B), I(C) and I(D) of the framework shall not be applicable to revival and rehabilitation of MSMEs covered by the instructions contained in Circular No. Restructuring is an act in which a lender, for economic or legal reasons relating to the borrower's financial difficulty, grants concessions to the borrower.While accounts with aggregate exposure of ₹ 5 billion and above shall require two such ICEs, others shall require one ICE. Restructuring may involve modification of terms of the advances / securities, which would generally include, among others, alteration of payment period / payable amount / the amount of instalments / rate of interest; roll over of credit facilities; sanction of additional credit facility/ release of additional funds for an account in default to aid curing of default / enhancement of existing credit limits; compromise settlements where time for payment of settlement amount exceeds three months. For this purpose, the board-approved policies of lenders on resolution of stressed assets, required to be in place in terms of the this framework, shall also have detailed policies on various signs of financial difficulty, providing quantitative as well as qualitative parameters, for determining financial difficulty as expected from a prudent bank. Since default with any lender is a lagging indicator of financial stress faced by the borrower, it is expected that the lenders initiate the process of implementing a resolution plan (RP) even before a default. These directions are issued with a view to providing a framework for early recognition, reporting and time bound resolution of stressed assets. These directions are issued without prejudice to issuance of specific directions, from time to time, by the Reserve Bank to banks, in terms of the provisions of Section 35AA of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, for initiation of insolvency proceedings against specific borrowers under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). In addition, the lenders shall submit a weekly report of instances of default by all borrowers (with aggregate exposure of ₹ 50 million and above) by close of business on every Friday, or the preceding working day if Friday happens to be a holiday. All lenders must put in place Board-approved policies for resolution of stressed assets, including the timelines for resolution.
In cases where the provisioning held is lower than the expected required provisioning, lenders shall make additional provisioning to the extent of the shortfall.
A RP which involves lenders exiting the exposure by assigning the exposures to third party or a RP involving recovery action shall be deemed to be implemented only if the exposure to the borrower is fully extinguished. The additional provisions shall be made by all the lenders with exposure to such borrower. The additional provisions shall also be required to be made in cases where the lenders have initiated recovery proceedings, unless the recovery proceedings are fully completed. The above additional provisions may be reversed as under: (a) Where the RP involves only payment of overdues by the borrower – the additional provisions may be reversed only if the borrower is not in default for a period of 6 months from the date of clearing of the overdues with all the lenders; (b) Where RP involves restructuring/change in ownership outside IBC – the additional provisions may be reversed upon implementation of the RP; (c) Where resolution is pursued under IBC – half of the additional provisions made may be reversed on filing of insolvency application and the remaining additional provisions may be reversed upon admission of the borrower into the insolvency resolution process under IBC; or, (d) Where assignment of debt/recovery proceedings are initiated – the additional provisions may be reversed upon completion of the assignment of debt/recovery. The robustness of the board approved policy and the outcomes would be examined as part of the supervisory oversight of the Reserve Bank. In case of restructuring, the accounts classified as 'standard' shall be immediately downgraded as non-performing assets (NPAs), i.e., ‘sub-standard’ to begin with.
The NPAs, upon restructuring, would continue to have the same asset classification as prior to restructuring. Standard accounts classified as NPA and NPA accounts retained in the same category on restructuring by the lenders may be upgraded only when all the outstanding loan / facilities in the account demonstrate ‘satisfactory performance’ Provided that the account cannot be upgraded before one year from the commencement of the first payment of interest or principal (whichever is later) on the credit facility with longest period of moratorium under the terms of RP. Additionally, for accounts where the aggregate exposure of lenders is ₹ 1 billion and above at the time of implementation of RP, to qualify for an upgrade, in addition to demonstration of satisfactory performance, the credit facilities of the borrower shall also be rated as investment grade (BBB- or better), at the time of upgrade, by CRAs accredited by the Reserve Bank for the purpose of bank loan ratings.
Interest earned by non-residents who are physically absent from South Africa for at least 181 days during the 12 month period before the interest accrues and the debt from which the interest arises is not effectively connected to a fixed place of business in South Africa, is exempt from income tax.
For more information see Withholding Tax on Interest (WTI).