For the first time, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) on Wednesday registered National e-Governance Services Limited (NeSL) as an information utility. This registration is valid for five years from the date of registration, the ministry of coprorate affairs said in a statement.The information utility stores financial information that helps establish defaults as well as verify claims expeditiously and thereby facilitates completion of transactions under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016 in a time-bound manner, the statement said. The information utility constitutes a key pillar of the insolvency and bankruptcy ecosystem, the other three being the Adjudicating Authority (National Company Law Tribunal and Debt Recovery Tribunal), the IBBI and insolvency professionals.
Major shareholders of NeSL include SBI, Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda (having 10% each), followed by ICICI Bank (9.9%) and Axis Bank (9.5%).
The information utility has become a crucial entity at a time when the new insolvency law is tapped often to resolve cases of large non-performing accounts (NPAs) with banks. In June, the central bank recommended 12 cases, accounting for a quarter of the total NPAs, for resolution under the IBC. According to the Information Utilities Regulations, a public company with a minimum net worth of Rs 50 crore is eligible to be an information utility. Usually, a person should not hold more than 10% of an information utility’s paid-up equity share capital, while certain specified persons may hold up to 25% of paid-up equity share capital. However, to start with, a person may hold up to 51% of paid-up equity share capital of an information utility, but that has to be reduced to 10%, or 25%, as the case may be, before the expiry of three years from registration, according to the regulations stipulated by the IBBI.