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New Scheme by Government for giving covid loans to hospital at competitive interest rate

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As a part of its push to bolster the economy amid the second Covid wave, the Government Sunday expanded the scope of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to provide more relief to small businesses, bring the aviation sector under its ambit, and provide a concessional credit facility of up to Rs 2 crore in loans for health facilities to set up oxygen generation plants.

The overall size of ECLGS, however, has been kept at Rs 3 lakh crore, out of which about Rs 45,000 crore is left to be sanctioned. Those who have already availed loans under the scheme can get additional assistance of up to 10 per cent of outstanding dues as of February 29, 2020.

Simultaneously, public sector banks have announced that they are joining hands to offer standardised loans to healthcare facilities and individuals under the Covid loan book proposed by the RBI and the ECLGS.

Under this initiative, borrowers will be able to avail a tenure of five years in the revised ECLGS scheme — as against four years earlier — with repayment of interest only for the first 24 months, and of principal and interest in the next 36.

The Union Finance Ministry has also removed the current ceiling of Rs 500 crore of outstanding loans for eligibility under ECLGS, subject to maximum additional assistance to each borrower being limited to 40 per cent or Rs 200 crore, whichever is lower.

Under the ECLGS scheme to help companies tide over the liquidity crunch resulting from the Covid curbs, banks provide additional loans to existing borrowers without asking for extra collateral. To encourage banks, these loans are fully guaranteed by the Government against credit losses.

The scope of the scheme had been expanded thrice before. The scheme will be valid till September 2021 or till the guarantee amount of Rs 3 lakh crore is exhausted, while disbursements are permitted till December 2021.

Similarly, public sector banks will offer loans upto Rs 100 crore at concessional rates for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, diagnostic centres and pathology labs to set up or expand healthcare facilities.

 Banks are offering business loans for healthcare facilities up to Rs 100 crore to set up or expand healthcare infrastructure. They will also offer unsecured personal loans — from Rs 25,000 to Rs 5 lakh — for salaried, non-salaried and pensioners for Covid treatment, most of them at concessional rates of interest.

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