Reserve Bank liberalizes norms governing external commercial borrowings for infrastructure creation

New Delhi: Reserve Bank has liberalised the norms governing external commercial borrowings (ECBs) for infrastructure creation. A notification said the minimum average maturity required for the ECBs in the infrastructure space raised by eligible borrowers has been reduced to three years from earlier five years.

Additionally, the average maturity requirement for mandatory hedging has been reduced to five years from earlier ten years. The move comes amid concerns surrounding the availability of funds following a liquidity squeeze and the difficulties being faced by non-bank lenders, especially those facing asset liability issues due to heavy reliance on short-term funding for long-term assets.

The Government has been unequivocal in suggesting remedial measures which will address the needs of the economy. The relaxations in the ECB norms follow other moves by the RBI, including last week’s permission to banks to use credit enhancement to help NBFCs raise medium to long-term funds.

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