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'IBC regime yet to reach phase where debtors celebrate failure, exit voluntarily'

Friday - August 7, 2020 5:21 pm , Category : BUSINESS
New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) As the landmark Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has come a long way since its inception in the past three-and-a-half years, the Chairman of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), M.S. Sahoo feels that the country and the IBC regime is yet to reach a phase where corporate debtors would voluntarily come up for resolution of debt or exit from the business with a sense of celebration rather than despair.

Speaking to IANS, Sahoo noted that "the day an Indian entrepreneur says ‘I have tried and failed, now I want to walk away and try something else', it will be the real success of IBC."
"That is the real objective of the law, we are working for that," he added. The IBBI chief noted that the insolvency regime is on its way to achieve such a level of ease in voluntary exit of businesses.
He was of the view that such thought process among the business fraternity and entrepreneurs of the country will be achieved in the next three to five years.
He noted that such proceedings would be initiated under Section 10 of the IBC, which already exists, and corporate debtors file for resolution themselves under the section, but the psychological change of exiting a business with a sense of ‘celebration' is yet to be achieved.
On the journey of IBC since its introduction in 2016, Sahoo said that it has been a "fantastic" journey given the various constraints witnessed over the years.
"You have to see what outcome you are getting, particularly debtors, today they want to come and resolve the issue before reaching NCLT that is the biggest change that has happened," the IBBI chief said.
He also said that the committee looking at the prospects and framework for pre-packaged restructuring deals under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is expected to come up with its report in a month's time.
Sahoo said that pre-packaged or pre-pack is an alternative mechanism which is under consideration and is being prepared.
He said that if the pre-pack framework comes into force the resolution or the restructuring plan between the company and the lenders would be framed and prepared beforehand, which would have to be approved by the NCLT.
On the special resolution framework for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) announced in May, Sahoo said that the framework is under works and is at an advanced stage. The announcement to come up with a special resolution framework for MSMEs under IBC was made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as the sector has been among the worst-hit during the coronavirus pandemic.
(Rituraj Baruah can be contacted at rituraj.b@ians.in)

--IANS rrb/sn/kr