The RBI Governor announced a series of measures to deal with the situation

The Reserve Bank of India was "battle-ready" to ensure financial conditions remain congenial and markets continue to work efficiently during the ongoing second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday.

He announced a series of measures to deal with the situation, including a Term Liquidity Facility of Rs. 50,000 cr. with tenure of upto 3 yrs, at repo rate, to ease access to emergency health services, for ramping up COVID-related health infrastructure & services.

Das said the RBI was "committed to go unconventional and devise new responses" as per demand. "We will work closely with government to alleviate extreme travails being undergone by citizens," he added.

According to the RBI Governor, the devastating speed of the virus had to be matched by "swift, wide-ranging, sequenced and well-timed actions which reach out to various sections, including the most vulnerable".

The measures announced by the RBI Governor on Wednesday also include:

* Stress Resolution Framework 2.0 for Individuals, Small Businesses and MSMEs
to relieve stress faced by most vulnerable categories of borrowers.

* Special Long Term Repo Operations for Small Finance Banks to provide further support to micro, small and other unorganized sector entities.

* Relaxation of overdraft facility to states, with maximum number of days of overdraft in a quarter for state governments increased from 36 to 50 days

* Floating Provisions and Countercyclical Provisioning Buffer, which means that Banks can now use 100% of floating provisions held by them, as on Dec 31, 2020, for making specific provisions for NPAs.

The immediate objective was to preserve human life and restore livelihoods through all means possible, Das said, pointing out that the 2nd wave was not insurmountable

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus on light," the RBI Governor said, quoting Mahatma Gandhi.

Maintaining that the future was bright "even at this moment," Das said, "We must remain resolutely focused on a post-pandemic future of strong and sustainable growth".

The RBI Governor called upon all stakeholders to address the challenges posed by the 2nd wave of the pandemic while remaining in guard about future waves.