The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 13 June 2016 issued the guidelines on the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets.
The guidelines were issued with an aim to further strengthen the lenders’ ability to deal with stressed assets and to put real assets back on track.
Highlights of the Scheme
• RBI formulated the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) as an optional framework for the resolution of large stressed accounts.
• The S4A envisages determination of the sustainable debt level for a stressed borrower.
• It also envisages bifurcation of the outstanding debt into sustainable debt and equity/quasi-equity instruments which are expected to provide upside to the lenders when the borrower turns around.
• In order to make sure that that the entire exercise is carried out in a transparent and prudent manner, S4A envisages that the resolution plan will be prepared by credible professional agencies.
• An Overseeing Committee, set up by the Indian Banks Association, comprising of eminent experts will independently review the processes involved in preparation of the resolution plan for reasonableness and adherence to the provisions of these guidelines.
• The scheme is applicable to those projects that have started commercial operations and have outstanding loan of over 500 crore rupees.
Reasons behind the formulation of S4A
Resolution of large borrowal accounts which are facing severe financial difficulties may require co-ordinated deep financial restructuring which often involves a substantial write-down of debt and/or making large provisions.
Often such high write-downs act as a disincentive to lenders to effect a sustainable change in the liability structure of borrows facing stress.
Accordingly, RBI, after due consultation with lenders, has formulated the scheme.
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What: Introduced by RBI
When: 13 June 2016