On the day that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the latest round of amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, in a report, said that after six previous amendments, the IBC has deviated from its original objectives.
In the report which was tabled in Lok Sabha on August 3, the committee also noted that about 13,000 cases worth Rs 9 lakh crore pending beyond 180 days were stuck in IBC process. It also said that IBC has low recovery rates with high 95 percent haircuts being imposed upon creditors.
"While any legislative enactment and implementation needs to constantly evolve to meet the challenges in the ever-changing ecosystem, the Committee are of the opinion that actual operationalization of amendments made so far may have altered and even digressed from the basic design of the statute and given a different orientation to the code not originally envisoned," the panel, headed by former Minister of State for Aviation Jayant Sinha, said.
The panel said that that the design and implementation of the code as it has evolved needs to be revisited, especially in the light if its original aims and objectives.
"A greater clarity in purpose is needed with regards to strengthening creditor rights, particularly considering the disproportionately large and unsustainable 'hair cuts' taken by financial creditors over the years," the report said.
Pre-packaged resolution for corporates needed
On July 28, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which proposes a pre-packaged insolvency resolution mechanism for micro, small and medium enterprises, was passed in the Lok Sabha. It was tabled in Rajya Sabha today
The Parliamentary panel recommended that a similar pre-packaged resolution mechanism be put in place for larger corporates as well similar to the ones for MSMEs.
The panel also called for flexible resolution plans wherein multiple companies can take over the assets of the company under insolvency, instead of one bidder acquiring all the assets.
The committee also called for overhauling the NCLT by taking care of personnel shortages, selecting more experienced judicial members including high court judges, and taking steps to reduce the time taken to admit a case into NCLT and then passing it through the process
The committee also expressed its apprehension on fresh graduates without experience being appointed as insolvency/resolution professionals and noted that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India must frame rules for the selection of resolution professionals.