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    RBI ups limits on housing loans from co-op banks, backs affordable housing


    The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday doubled the limit on housing loans from cooperative banks and also permitted Rural Cooperative Banks (RCB) to finance residential real estate projects to support affordable housing and inclusive growth.

    The central bank allowed urban cooperative banks (UCBs) to provide doorstep banking services to meet the needs of customers, especially senior citizens and differently abled persons. This would bring UCBs on par with scheduled commercial banks which already provide such services.

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    RBI, in a monetary policy statement, today said it is raising the existing limits on individual housing loans by cooperative banks due to an increase in housing prices since the last revision and after factoring in customer needs. These limits were last revised for UCBs in 2011 and for RCBs in 2009.

    The limits for tier-I/ tier-II UCBs stand revised from Rs 0.30 crore to Rs 0.60 crore and Rs 0.70 crore to Rs 1.40 crore, respectively.

    As regards rural co-operative banks, the limits stand revised from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for RCBs with assessed net worth less than Rs 100 crore and for other RCBs, the limits would increase from Rs 0.30 crore to Rs 0.75 crore. RBI will communicate detailed norms separately.

    It has been decided to allow RCBs — state cooperative banks and district central banks — to extend finance to commercial real estate – residential housing within the existing aggregate housing finance limit of 5 per cent of their total assets. This decision has been taken in view of the growing need for affordable housing and to realise their potential in providing credit facilities to the housing sector, RBI added.

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