Infrastructure credit grew marginally to Rs 22.6 lakh- crore in H1FY21- A report.

Infrastructure credit by banks and NBFC-IFCs in the country marginally grew to Rs 22.6 lakh- crore in the first half of the current fiscal compared to Rs 22.5 lakh crore in 2019-20, says a report. 

According to Icra Rating report, the infrastructure credit grew 7 percent in FY2020 (19 percent in FY2019) to Rs 22.5 lakh crore as on March 31, 2020, it increased marginally to Rs 22.6 lakh crore as on September 30, 2020 

According to Icra's vice president and head (financial sector ratings) Manushree Saggar, the tepidness in infrastructure credit in the first half of 2020-21 was primarily due to the sequential degrowth (10 percent) in banking sector credit to the infrastructure segment.

However, non-banking financial companies-infrastructure finance company (NBFC-IFCs) continued to grow at a modest sequential pace of 12 percent in this period, vice president Saggar noted.

She said that the growth was majorly led by disbursements related to the liquidity package announced by the government for cash-strapped discoms.

The share of NBFC-IFCs in infrastructure credit has increased to 53 percent as of September 30, 2020, from about 38 percent five years ago, the report said.
The decline in the share of banks during the past few years was largely attributable to the conversion of their exposures to state distribution companies into bonds and subdued lending amid asset quality issues and capital constraints, it said.
At the same time, the portfolio for NBFC-IFCs continued to grow through largely at the back of growth in the public sector NBFC-IFCs, it said.

As for asset quality, NBFC-IFCs witnessed deterioration during FY2016-FY2018 on the back of severe stress in the thermal power sector. However, the trend over the past three years suggested receding asset quality pressures, particularly up to the onset of COVID-19-induced disruption, it said.

The gross stage 3 percentages had eased to 5.7 percent as of March 31, 2020, from 7.3 percent as of March 31, 2018, supported by controlled fresh slippages and some resolution in legacy stressed assets, the report said.

"The gross stage 3 percentage for NBFC-IFCs eased further to a four-year low of 5 percent as on September 30, 2020, partly aided by limited forward bucket movement amid the prolonged moratorium period," it added.

It said while more clarity on the impact of COVID-19-induced disruption on asset quality trajectory will emerge over coming quarters, most infrastructure sub-sectors remained relatively resilient from debt servicing perspective in lockdown conditions supported by factors such as must-run status of renewable energy projects, healthy recovery in toll collections, liquidity support to discoms