Debt recovery mechanism strengthened with IBC, claims of ₹1.73 lakh crore settled: Eco Survey

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On February 28, 2019, 6,079 cases involving a total amount of ₹2.84 lakh crore have been withdrawn before admission under provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Representative image: iStock.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is one of the most important economic reforms of recent times and the debt recovery mechanism has strengthened with claims worth over ₹1.73 lakh crore settled so far under the new law, the Economic Survey said.

Till March 31, 2019, the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) yielded a resolution of 94 cases which has resulted in the settlement of claims worth ₹1,73,359 crore, it said. “The NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) infrastructure requires to be scaled up so as to achieve timely resolution of debt recovery. The debt recovery mechanism strengthened with the enactment of IBC, 2016,” the Economic Survey 2018-19 said.

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It said that the ecosystem for insolvency and bankruptcy is getting systematically built out with recovery and resolution of a significant amount of distressed assets. “The government is actively considering measures to address delays and has created six additional posts of the judicial and technical members for NCLAT. Setting up circuit benches of NCLAT is under consideration,” the Survey suggested.

Also, as on February 28, 2019, 6,079 cases involving a total amount of ₹2.84 lakh crore have been withdrawn before admission under provisions of the IBC, it said. Citing RBI reports, the Survey authored by a team led by Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V Subramanian, said that ₹50,000 crore has been received by banks from previously non performing accounts.

RBI also reports that an additional ₹50,000 crore has been upgraded from non-standard to standard assets. Taking note of the accelerated recoveries, the Survey said that all these show behavioural change for the wider lending ecosystem even before entering the IBC process. The Survey said that the IBC has initiated a cultural shift in the dynamics between lender and borrower, promoter and creditor.

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Before enactment of the IBC, the recovery mechanisms available to lenders were through Lok Adalat, Debt Recovery Tribunal, and SARFAESI Act. “While the earlier mechanisms resulted in a low average recovery of 23 per cent, the recoveries have risen to 43 per cent under the IBC regime.”

“Since enactment of the IBC, India significantly improved its Resolving Insolvency ranking to 108 in 2019 from 134 in 2014 where it remained stagnating for several years,” it said. The future of IBC lies in the hands of young entrepreneurs, professionals, and scholars contributing to a robust economic order through a dynamic insolvency framework, the Survey noted.

It said that the government is in the process of creating a suitable architecture comprising programmes and institutions that will help in advancing this goal. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has announced the launch of ‘Graduate Insolvency Programme’ (GIP), the first of its kind, for those aspiring to take up the discipline of Insolvency Programmes as a career or other roles in the value chain.

The IBBI has also set up two separate working groups on group and individual insolvencies. The most sophisticated economies have well-developed cross border insolvency laws, the Survey stated, adding that India has initiated the steps to adopt the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) model law on cross-border insolvency.