Cold comfort: India’s RBI has loosened guidelines on resolving loan defaults by stressed assets, but their financial woes are far from over | Image credit: Financial Tribune

RBI revises stressed asset resolution guidelines

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revised its stressed assets resolution guidelines, and the new framework allows lenders up to 30 days — instead of one — to initiate the process of loan repayments. Up to 40GW of India’s coal and gas-fired power plants are classified as “stressed assets” due to their sustained operational losses.

Amongst other changes, the new framework now also requires approval from only 60% of the lenders to a project, or lenders who together account for 75% of the outstanding credit, to clear plans for debt-recovery. Previously, every lender’s approval was mandatory.

India to widen Ujjwala benefits with 5 kg cylinders

Bullish on replacing fuelwood with LPG, India’s new government will introduce smaller, 5 kg LPG cylinders for below poverty line (BPL) families to lower the cylinders’ refilling costs. The new cylinders may cost only about Rs180 per refill, compared to nearly Rs500 for the 14.2 kg capacity cylinders disbursed under the Ujjwala scheme.

80 million new “connections” have been targeted within the government’s first 100 days in office, and as on June 3, the highest number of connections has so far reached Uttar Pradesh (12.9 million), Bihar (7.8 million) and Rajasthan (5.6 million).

UN chief: Fossil fuel subsidies helping destroy the world

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres threw out all diplomatic restraint last week and chastised fossil fuel subsidies as “helping to destroy the world”. Speaking in Austria, Guteres called for ending all fossil fuel subsidies and taxing pollution – desperately hoping this would stop governments from using taxpayers’ money to destabilise the planet’s climate even further.

Yet, fossil fuel subsidies rose to $300 billion in 2017, the US is exploring High Efficiency, Low Emissions (HELE) technologies to bail out its shrinking coal capacity, and Australia’s emissions have gone up for the fourth consecutive year.

IEEFA: GE lost $193 billion betting against renewables

IEEFA’s damning new report says General Electric (GE) lost $193 billion between 2015 and 2018 by underestimating the growth of renewables. GE is a Fortune 500 heavyweight and continued to invest in coal plants and gas turbines despite their falling markets shares. The bad investments nearly wiped out three quarters of its market capitalisation.

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