2018 was a watershed year for corporate India, courtesy IBC

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2018 was a watershed year for corporate India with some of its tycoons coming close to losing grip on their companies, courtesy the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). 

Most of the big-ticket companies that were being forced to undergo a change in management as part of the law were part of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-mandated list for debt resolution under IBC.

The RBI’s first list comprised 12 large accounts with an outstanding claim of Rs 3.45 trillion. The highest profile from that prized list is Ruia-owned Essar Steel. Subsequently, the central bank came out with a second list of 27 non-performing assets (NPAs) that included the likes of Videocon.

The IBC was rolled out about two years ago with the objective of facilitating debt resolution. Till September, in terms of recovery, financial creditors have realised Rs 584 billion against admitted claims of  Rs 1.3 trillion. Compared to a pre-IBC regime recovery rate of 26 per cent, the Code hasn't fared badly. However, less than five per cent of the cases have been resolved so far (52 out of 1,198). 

The resolution, which was to have been achieved within a maximum time limit of 270 days, has tripped on time-lines. Of the 816 corporate insolvency resolution processes (CIRPs) underway, more than 29 per cent of the cases have breached the extended 270-day deadline within which resolutions were to be completed, and 19 per cent have crossed 180 days.

Yet bankers say these are but early problems of a revolutionary law that has changed the creditor-debtor relationship in significant ways.

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