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Bankruptcy regime: Regulations on Information utilities expected on Thursday

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-03-2017 Shreeja Sen

New Delhi: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India will, by the end of the week, publish its regulations on information utilities and voluntary liquidation process, chairperson M.S. Sahoo said on Wednesday.

“Last piece of institutional framework is the information utilities. Tomorrow we’re notifying those notifications. We should get registrations for the same in the next 15 days,” Sahoo said at the inauguration of the Bankruptcy Board’s new premises in central Delhi. “The last piece is the voluntary resolution process; it will happen in the next two three days,” he added.

The regulations will complete the corporate insolvency resolution process structure for bankruptcy, paving the way for the Board to focus on individual insolvency.

Minister of state for corporate affairs and finance Arjun Ram Meghwal, who chaired the inaugural session, said the new Bankruptcy regime was the “highest priority” of the government at this time.

However, for growth, development has to happen across all sectors, and not just one, he added. He also made a case for allowing market forces to take their own course, and sought intervention from the regulator only to ensure firms kept their activities above board and legitimate.

Chairperson for the Competition Commission of India, D.K. Sikri, said that the outlook for India was very positive globally. “We’re being watched very closely. Outlook for India is very positive,” he added.

Information utilities, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, were envisaged to collate all information about debtors, accessible for a fee.

Also Read| Voluntary liquidation: IBBI seeks public comments

These databases maintained by the IUs seek to prevent serial defaulters from misusing the system and keep to the strict timelines of the Code. The corporate insolvency resolution process prescribes a time limit of 180 days to conclude proceedings. Information utilities are critical to this.

Voluntary liquidation processes allow solvent companies, or those without loan defaults, to initiate a liquidation process. Certain conditions need to be fulfilled to avail of this facility. Shareholders of the company are required to pass a special resolution in a general meeting mentioning that the company wants to be liquidated voluntarily, and then appoint an insolvency professional to act as the liquidator.

The Board became functional on 1 December, with Sahoo at its helm.

The 10-member board under the Code at present has two vacancies for part time members. The other members are Ajay Tyagi, additional secretary, department of economic affairs; Amardeep Singh Bhatia, joint secretary, ministry of corporate affairs; G.S. Yadav, joint secretary, department of legal affairs; A. Unnikrishnan, legal adviser, Reserve Bank of India, and three whole time members – Suman Saxena, Mukulita Vijaywargiya and Navrang Saini.

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