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NPA restructuring:

When will a Project loan will become NPA and is it possible to restructure it?


This is a question which is being faced by many entrepreneurs in infrastructure sector who had availed of project loan from various banks. There is lack of clarity in this and many of the banks are providing wrong advices to its customers, either due to simple ignorance or with some intentional motives. 



Eligibility criteria for restructuring of advances

Banks may restructure the accounts classified under 'standard', 'sub-standard' and 'doubtful' categories.

Banks cannot reschedule / restructure /renegotiate borrowable accounts with retrospective effect. While a restructuring proposal is under consideration, the usual asset classification norms would continue to apply. The process of re- classification of an asset should not stop merely because restructuring proposal is under consideration. The asset classification status as on the date of approval of the restructured package by the competent authority would be relevant to decide the asset classification status of the account after restructuring / rescheduling / renegotiation. In case there is undue delay in sanctioning a restructuring package and in the meantime the asset classification status of the account undergoes deterioration, it would be a matter of supervisory concern.
Normally, restructuring cannot take place unless alteration / changes in the original loan agreement are made with the formal consent / application of the debtor. However, the process of restructuring can be initiated by the bank in deserving cases subject to customer agreeing to the terms and conditions.
No account will be taken up for restructuring by the banks unless the financial viability is established and there is a reasonable certainty of repayment from the borrower, as per the terms of restructuring package. The viability should be determined by the banks based on the acceptable viability benchmarks determined by them, which may be applied on a case-by-case basis, depending on merits of each case. Illustratively, the parameters may include the Return on Capital Employed, Debt Service Coverage Ratio, Gap between the Internal Rate of Return and Cost of Funds and the amount of provision required in lieu of the diminution in the fair value of the restructured advance. The accounts not considered viable should not be restructured and banks should accelerate the recovery measures in respect of such accounts. Any restructuring done without looking into cash flows of the borrower and assessing the viability of the projects / activity financed by banks would be treated as an attempt at ever greening a weak credit facility and would invite supervisory concerns / action.
While the borrowers indulging in frauds and malfeasance will continue to remain ineligible for restructuring, banks may review the reasons for classification of the borrowers as willful defaulters specially in old cases where the manner of classification of a borrower as a wilful defaulter was not transparent and satisfy itself that the borrower is in a position to rectify the wilful default. The restructuring of such cases may be done with Board's approval, while for such accounts the restructuring under the CDR Mechanism may be carried out with the approval of the Core Group only.
BIFR cases are not eligible for restructuring without their express approval. In the case of advances restructured under CDR Mechanism / the lead bank in the case of SME Debt Restructuring Mechanism and the individual banks in other cases, may consider the proposals for restructuring in such cases, after ensuring that all the formalities in seeking the approval from BIFR are completed before implementing the package
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