1. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to provide Clean Water and Sanitation for all. Access to safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions is essential to protect human health during infectious disease outbreaks, especially in the times of on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Keeping in mind the above, it has been decided to provide Special Refinance Facility to eligible financial institutions for financing WASH related activities such as construction of toilets/ twin-pit toilets, converting toilet to toilet-cum-bathroom with piped water connection, construction of overhead water tanks, additional bathroom-cum-toilet, installing piped water connection, retrofitting and up-gradation of dysfunctional toilets, setting up of bio-gas plants using human excreta, cow dung and kitchen waste, rainwater harvesting structures, etc. An illustrative list of activities is given in the Annexure.
3. The financing to WASH activities is a ‘Thrust’ area and will be eligible for 95% of eligible loan as refinance. Refinance will be available at concessional rate of interest, i.e. 5.15 % p.a. at quarterly rest. Interest rate on refinance are subject to change from time to time.
4. It is expected that the benefit of the concessional refinance will be appropriately factored in while fixing the interest rate for the ultimate borrower by the bank/FI.
5. The detailed operational guidelines are furnished in the annexure.
Schematic Refinance policy for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Activities – FY 2021-22
i. To meet credit requirement of banks/FIs so as to enable them to provide timely and hassle credit to eligible beneficiaries/entrepreneurs so as to facilitate WASH activities.
ii. To address the issues related to reverse migration.
iii. To give a boost towards sanitation, health and hygiene during COVID-19 era.
iv. Credit intensification and enhancing GLC flow in priority sector
The WASH Scheme will provide refinance to NABARD Subsidiaries for extending loans directly as well as indirectly through NBFCs/ MFIs for the following activities:
a) Household Toilet construction (Twin pit)
b) Repairing of the old sanitation unit
c) Enlarging existing toilet to Toilet cum bathroom
Subsidiaries may consider a follow-on component from their own funds for the maintenance of the assets created out of the bank loan for those borrowers who are regular in repaying the first loan. This will help sustain the ODF initiative. This will also be an incentive for households to go in for improvements and also ensure regular usage of the facility created.
4. Service Charges
As per PSL Guidelines, no loan related and adhoc service charges/ inspection charges should be levied on priority sector loans up to ₹25,000. In the case of eligible priority sector loans to SHGs/ JLGs, this limit will be applicable per member and not to the group as a whole.
5. Repayment Period
Repayment period may be fixed between 18-36 months based on the quantum of loan, purpose and income stream of the family. The beneficiary, if so desires, may prepay the loan with interest without any prepayment charges.
6. Mode of sanction and operative period of the limit
The refinance will be provided to eligible banks and NABARD Subsidiaries in the form of term loan for a period of 18 to 36 months.
7. Nature of accommodation, security etc.
The refinance will be provided to eligible institutions as per the refinance policy for schematic lending for the particular FI and will be available under ARF.