Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s Rs 50,000-cr liquidity window can help augment the bed capacity at hospitals by up to 20% as credit will be available at cheaper costs, Credit Ratings Agency Crisil said on Friday.
The window to banks under priority-sector lending to augment COVID-19 healthcare infrastructure will help raise treatment capacity, and availability of medicines and medical equipment, it said. It can be noted large parts of the country's healthcare infrastructure have been overwhelmed, exposing the shortfalls in the capacity, as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic where number of officially reported has breached the 4 lakh mark and deaths hover around 3,500 a day.
The RBI created the facility throwing in a lot of incentives for banks on Wednesday. "Hospitals could be among the biggest beneficiaries as the incremental funding can potentially increase bed capacity in the country by 15-20%," a note from the rating agency said.
Banks are expected to lend for healthcare activities below the current rates of lending, courtesy the scheme, which entails loans being available to banks at repo rate till March 2022 which are to be utilised for on-lending and also earn a priority sector lending classification, Crisil said.
Under the RBI guidelines, loans can be extended to makers and suppliers of vaccines and drugs, hospitals, pathology labs, oxygen suppliers, makers of emergency medical equipment, logistics firms, and COVID-19 patients as well, the agency said.