Goa Min claims facing NPA risk, writes to PM, FM, BFSI News, ET BFSI

Panaji, Goa‘s Ports Minister Michael Lobo on Thursday said that he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging them to provide relief from paying loan EMIs for businesses impacted by the second wave of Covid-19.

A cabinet minister in the BJP-led coalition government led by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Lobo is also a hotelier himself.

He told a press conference here, that he was forced to write to the Centre after a bank manager informed the Minister that his own account was in the danger of being declared as a non-performing asset (NPA).

“I am also a businessman. I am getting calls from banks from which I have taken loans. A manager of a bank told me yesterday (Wednesday) that if I do not pay my loan instalment by tomorrow (Thursday), it will be declared NPA.” Lobo said.

“If a bank manager can call me and inform me that my account will be declared as an NPA, what about the common man? What about people who live hand-to-mouth and run small businesses? How will they pay instalments. This is an issue which is plaguing people in Goa as well as the rest of India.” Lobo said.

In his letter to Modi and Sitharaman, Lobo has also urged the top ruling duo to urge the Reserve Bank of India to issue a circular directing all nationalised banks to not declare accounts impacted by the second wave of the Covid pandemic, as NPAs.

“There is a need for a decision on this. The Finance Minister should take a decision and instruct all banks.” Lobo said.

The cabinet minister also said that the central government should also replicate the moratorium on loan EMIs provided to businesses during the first Covid wave last year.