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Debt recovery: IBC 3 times better than other routes

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Mumbai | Published: December 29, 2018 6:06:14 AM

The average recovery by banks based on the amount filed through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was 41.3% in FY18 against 12.4% through other mechanisms such as SARFAESI Act, Debt Recovery Tribunals and Lok Adalats, a RBI report has said.

Banks and other financial creditors managed to recover around Rs 4,92,500 crore from 21 accounts for which resolution plans were approved under IBC in FY18.

The average recovery by banks based on the amount filed through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was 41.3% in FY18 against 12.4% through other mechanisms such as SARFAESI Act, Debt Recovery Tribunals and Lok Adalats, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report has said.

Banks and other financial creditors managed to recover around Rs 4,92,500 crore from 21 accounts for which resolution plans were approved under IBC in FY18

As a percentage of their claims that were finally admitted by NCLTs, the recovery was even higher–49.6% of Rs 9,92,900 crore.

In comparison, recovery through SARFAESI route stood at Rs 26,500 crore, or only 24.8%. The recoveries through DRTs and Lok Adalats were even lower–Rs 7,200 crore or 5.4% and Rs 1,800 crore or 4%, respectively.

While data on recovery through other mechanisms was unavailable for the first half of current fiscal year, recovery through IBC already stood at 46.1%.

The average recovery under earlier existing mechanisms was as high as 50% in 2007-08 but had later dropped to below 20% since 2013-14.

“Recovery of stressed assets improved during 2017-18 through the IBC, 2016 and Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests (SARFAESI) Act, 2002.

Apart from vigorous efforts by banks for speedier recovery, amending the SARFAESI Act to bring in a provision of three months’ imprisonment in case the borrower does not provide asset details and for the lender to get possession of mortgaged property within 30 days, may have contributed to better recovery. Recovery through Lok Adalats and Debt Recovery Tribunals declined alongside the number of cases referred partly indicative of growing clout of the IBC mechanism for resolution of stressed assets,” the RBI report said.

The Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India (2017-18) said the average recovery through the IBC is improving gradually, pointing to the need and efficiency of such a channel.

However, the central bank also notes that given the large number of cases that may be referred to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in near future, there is a case for strengthening the infrastructure to ensure time-bound resolutions.

Interestingly, data in the report sourced from the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India newsletter suggests the number of cases ending with liquidation was about four times higher than those ending with a resolution plan.

For example, as per the data stated, so far this fiscal year alone, closure of cases undergoing corporate insolvency resolution process through appeal/review stood at 47, while cases where a resolution plan was approved stood at 29. Meanwhile, cases which concluded in liquidation stood at 123.

“A granular analysis however reveals that more than three-fourth of the cases closed by liquidation were earlier under the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) or defunct or both and thus, the intrinsic value of most of these assets had already eroded before they were referred to the IBC. As such, the number of liquidation orders should be seen as a natural step towards efficient reallocation of resources rather than an adverse consequence of IBC itself.”

The share of operational creditors that have initiated corporate insolvency resolution proceedings, compared with financial creditors and other stakeholders was gradually rising. Latest available data revealed that of the total stakeholders who have initiated insolvency proceedings, operational creditors made up for close to 60% for the quarter ended September, against 30%-40% financial creditors.

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