FinMin asks banks to prevent defaulters from buying stressed assets

Illustration by Binay Sinha
To ensure the success of bankruptcy process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the Finance Ministry has asked banks to be vigilant to ensure that willful defaulters are prevented from buying same stressed assets again, official sources said.

As many as 12 accounts each having more than Rs 5,000 crore of outstanding loans and accounting for 25 per cent of total NPAs of banks are being under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code process.

The total outstanding of these accounts taken together is Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

Besides, banks are in the process of taking other large non-performing assets accounts to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the IBC.

It has been brought to the notice of the Finance Ministry that some of the willful defaulters are making a bid to buy assets of those cases which have been referred under IBC, a senior official said.

The resolution is crucial to the entire banking sector and therefore banks have been advised to be vigilant so that willful defaulters do not get benefits of the process, the official said, adding that banks have to be very conscious of this fact that such defaulters should not find a way to get into the system again.

IBC has defined time-frame for the resolution and there is a 14-day time period for the admission or rejection of a case by the National Company Law Tribunal.

After a case is accepted by NCLT, the creditor would get 30 days to hire insolvency practitioners and then the entire process to be completed in 180 days which will look at various possibilities including the revival of projects or liquidation.

The RBI has been equipped with powers to specify one or more authorities to advise banks for dealing with the problem of NPAs which, as per the Ordinance, "have reached unacceptably high levels and urgent measures are required for their resolution".

Non-performing assets of public sector banks have increased to Rs 7.33 lakh crore as of June 2017, from Rs 2.78 lakh crore in March 2015. 

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