ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Renewed Fear of Bad Debt

The evidence of a decline in the non-performing assets ratio in India’s banking system points to a significant improvement in the health of banks. However, this may have occurred partly through the use of write-offs that erode the capital base of banks and also because of the time-bound moratorium on debt repayments announced as part of measures to address the effects of the pandemic on small units and other selected borrowers. In the circumstances, even though new pandemic-linked lending to micro, small and medium enterprises was partly guaranteed by the government, a rise in the NPA ratios and further erosion of bank capital seem inevitable.

Mortgage Loans, Risky Lending, and Crisis

The link between the loan market and the housing market that works through mortgage loans is critically examined. Repayment of such mortgage loans depends on the future earning potential of the borrowers, which in turn depends on the overall state of the macroeconomy. Under buoyant macroeconomic conditions, all borrowers pay back their loans and both the loan market and the housing market function well. However, a temporary income shock in the economy, which undermines the repayment ability of the borrowers, may result in imprudent lending by banks thereby leading to a crisis. This calls for strict monitoring of mortgage loans by regulatory authorities.

Banking for the Poor

Bandhan: The Making of a Bank by Tamal Bandyopadhyay, Gurgaon: Penguin Books India, 2016; pp 304, ₹ 414.

Financial Reforms in an Endogenous Money Economy

An examination of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy leaves little doubt that India can be suitably characterised as an endogenous money economy. In an endogenous money environment, financial reforms will prove ineffective in stimulating credit supply to large commercial borrowers. They may, however, prove counterproductive by sharpening the credit constraints faced by agricultural and other petty producers in the economy.
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