May 28, 2022

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India Extends $41 Billion Loan-Guarantee Offer to Airlines

India expanded an emergency credit program to airlines and hospitals to cushion them from the impact of a wave of coronavirus infections and deaths.

The loans, which were previously intended for specific sectors such as small borrowers, can be availed until Sept. 30 or until total guarantees worth 3 trillion rupees ($41 billion) are offered, the Finance Ministry said in a statement Sunday. So far, about 2.5 trillion rupees have been disbursed, Sunil Mehta, chief executive of the Indian Banks’ Association, said at a briefing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is turning focus to protecting the economy as a devastating surge of Covid-19 infections ebb. While he eschewed a national lockdown in favor of localized mobility curbs, demand is still weak following a recession last year and as the recent wave of infections killed more than 150,000 people amid a severe shortage of basic medical facilities such as hospital beds and oxygen.