The Reserve Bank on Wednesday opened a special borrowing window of Rs 25,000 crore to help the crisis-ridden mutual funds tide over liquidity problems.
As a "contingency measure", RBI has decided to conduct a special 3-day repo auction under which banks would be encouraged to raise funds totalling Rs 25,000 crore at 10.25 per cent for onlending to the mutual funds.
"This facility will be made available for a temporary period until further notice," RBI said in a notification.
The mutual fund industry has been facing consistent equity folio closures in the past few months mainly due to profit booking and various merger schemes in the industry.
Folios are numbers designated to individual investor accounts, although one investor can have multiple folios.
The mutual fund industry lost more than 36 lakh investors in 2012-13.
The last financial year also marked the fourth consecutive year of loss of folios by mutual funds. During the preceding three financial years, the mutual fund industry had lost over 15 lakh new investor accounts.
According to latest SEBI data, mutual funds lost 10 lakh investors, measured in terms of individual accounts or folios, in April-June 2013-14.
The total investor accounts with 44 fund houses, fell to around 4.18 crore at the end of June 2013, from 4.28 crore in the last fiscal (2012-13).
During the April-June period of 2013, the number of investor folios for equity schemes fell by 11 lakh. The total number of folios in equity funds were 3.20 crore at the end of June against 3.31 crore at March end.
As per the Sebi data, total number of folios in debt funds rose by about 1.7 lakh to 63 lakh at the end of June 2013. Besides, exchange traded funds gained 6,558 folios to 7.46 lakh investor accounts at the end of June this year.
Balanced schemes, which invest in equity and debt category, shed 73,415 folios to end at 25.3 lakh at the end of June.