It’s not just stressed creditors that are forced to tap the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016 to resolve cases of defaults or settle dues. In fact, before the Reserve Bank of India’s move last week to select 12 large non-performing asset (NPA) accounts for resolution under the IBC, five of the top six insolvency cases (with the highest amount of defaults) were filed by debtors themselves.
According to an analysis of the cases admitted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), these companies — Gujarat NRE Coke, Gupta Coal India, Kamineni Steel, JODPL and VNR Infra — collectively owed `10,221 crore to various creditors.
These defaults were much higher than just Rs 1,377 crore involved in seven cases filed by banks up to May 18 for insolvency proceedings.
Last week, finance minister Arun Jaitley said of the 81 cases admitted by the NCLT up to May 18 for resolution under the one-year old IBC, financial creditors accounted for only 18. Of these, just seven were initiated by banks.
According to the data by Capitaline data, banks’ gross NPAs touched Rs 7.11 lakh crore as of April. However, with the RBI’s latest decision to refer the 12 cases that account for 25% of the NPAs in the banking system for resolution under the IBC, following an Ordinance by the government last month, such a scenario is set to change.
The IBC is aimed at the turnaround of stressed assets or, in case of liquidation, their quick monetisation. Secured creditors, including banks, are placed third in the preference order in case of any liquidation to receive the proceeds, after meeting the cost of resolution and workers’ dues.
Sanjay Grover, managing partner at company secretary firm, Sanjay Grover & Associates and an insolvency professional (IR), said the IBC is working really well, although IRs are required to spend a lot of time on the resolution of such cases.
According to MS Sahoo, chairman of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, as many as 900 applications were made before the NCLT as of May 18 to initiate insolvency proceedings. The number of applications may have reached around 1,200 by now, he added. This points to the growing trust in the potential of the law to resolve default cases.
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Last month, through an Ordinance to the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, the Centre authorised the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific cases of bad loans by initiating resolution process under the new insolvency law, where required. The central bank can now give directions on even specific cases of defaults, a practice it had generally avoided earlier.