NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to waive ‘interest on interest’ on loans up to Rs 2 crore soon, while pulling up the government for taking so much time to implement a decision already taken. It rejected the Centre’s request for one month’s time and adjourned the matter for November 2. The court’s direction came while hearing a batch of petitions seeking interest waiver during the loan moratorium.
During the hearing, the Centre argued it needed more time to complete certain formalities. At this, Justice M R Shah, who was part of the three-judge bench, said, “The common man’s Diwali is now in the government’s hands.” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the government’s decision would come into effect before November 15. “Banks will waive interest on interest and then be compensated by government and the calculation will have different modalities.
We will have to ensure that bank gives us a proper format.” However, the bench was not convinced with November 15 deadline. “Why one month’s time to implement such a small decision? Benefits of government’s concessions to borrowers up to Rs 2 crore must be implemented as soon as possible,” it said.
To clarify the deadline, Mehta said, “November 15 is the outer limit for implementation but the government will try to implement it even earlier than that.” Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the banks’ association, said banks await RBI circular. “If the government has already decided to exempt small borrowers from interest on interest, it should not be debited from accounts,” the bench observed.