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President approves promulgation of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance

By Deepika
|

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday approved promulgation of an ordinance to amend the 16-month-old Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which proposes to classify home buyers as "financial creditors" at par with lenders to help them quickly get refunds from defaulting companies.

Ram Nath Kovind

The Ordinance provides significant relief to home buyers by recognising their status as financial creditors. This would give them due representation in the Committee of Creditors and make them an integral part of the decision making process. It will also enable home buyers to invoke Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 against errant developers.

Another major beneficiary would be Micro, Small and Medium Sector Enterprises (MSME), which form the backbone of the Indian economy as the biggest employer, next only to the agriculture sector.

With realty firms, such as Jaypee Infratech, facing insolvency proceedings, the ordinance approved by President and promulgated, will provide relief for home buyers facing hardships due to incomplete real estate projects.

The existing Section 29(A) of the IBC, 2016 has also been fine-tuned to exempt pure play financial entities from being disqualified on account of NPA. Similarly, a resolution application holding an NPA by virtue of acquiring it in the past under the IBC, 2016, has been provided with a three-year cooling-off period, from the date of such acquisition. In other words, such NPA shall not disqualify the resolution application during the currency of the three-year grace period.

Taking into account the wide range of disqualifications contained in Section 29(A) of the Code, the Ordinance provides that the Resolution Applicant shall submit an affidavit certifying its eligibility to bid. This places the primary onus on the resolution applicant to certify its eligibility.

The Ordinance provides for a minimum one-year grace period for the successful resolution applicant to fulfill various statutory obligations required under different laws. This would go a long way in enabling the new management to successfully implement the resolution plan.

The other changes brought about by the Ordinance include non-applicability of moratorium period to enforcement of guarantee; introducing the requirement of special resolution for corporate debtors to themselves trigger insolvency resolution under the Code; liberalizing terms and conditions of interim finance to facilitate financing of corporate debtor during CIRP period; and giving the IBBI a specific development role along with powers to levy fee in respect of services rendered.

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