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FIs want bad loan rules eased for Dabhol

Mumbai, Aug. 23 (PTI): With the controversial Dabhol power project stalled for nearly 15 months without generating any income or electricity, IDBI-led lenders to the Dabhol Power Company have sought Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) permission to treat DPC as a ‘special case’ for not treating their over Rs 6,204 crore loans as sub-standard asset.

“We have sought RBI’s approval to give a special treatment to DPC as the project is under reconstruction and it is just a matter of time before the 2,184 mw plant goes upstream again. The lenders don’t want DPC to be classified as non-performing asset,” senior FI official said here today.

The lenders have asked RBI whether they could avoid treating the DPC account for the 740 mw phase I as bad loans even with the interest payment defaults for a period of over 80 days.

As per the RBI norms on asset classification, if either interest payment or principle repayment, or both were not received for two consecutive quarters, the account would be treated as an NPA.

The FIs’ total exposure (both phases) to the failed project is to the tune of Rs 6,204 crore with IDBI at Rs 2,121 crore, ICICI at Rs 1,473 crore, State Bank of India at Rs 1,749 crore, IFCI at Rs 454 crore and Canara Bank at Rs 407 crore.

“DPC missed its first loan repayment due on April 1 and since then has not met its second obligation for the quarter ended June 30. Even as the hectic discussions are on for its revival, the $ 3-billion project will definitely miss the third instalment,” the official said.

With this, the official said, as per RBI rules, DPC is technically a sub-standard asset and the FIs will have to make provisions for 10 per cent of principal outstanding every year.

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