Tasked with a key job of helping recover unpaid corporate loans, the NCLT has helped resolve insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings involving more than Rs 80,000 crore in the year passing-by and the kitty is expected to swell beyond Rs 1 lakh crore in 2019 with several big-ticket default cases pending.
Plans are afoot to further strengthen the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) by increasing number of judges and benches and provide adequate infrastructure to fast-track the process, according to government officials.
The new year will not only test the mettle of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), but also of the NCLT and its appellate body NCLAT, as several high-profile cases need to be resolved — Essar Steel (involving over Rs 80,000 crore alone) and Bhushan Power & Steel (about Rs 45,000 crore due to its lenders) are just a few, experts said.
In 2018, over Rs 80,000 crore was recovered from various corporate debtors, which had defaulted payments, under the IBC through various insolvency proceeding at the NCLT and the NCLAT (National Company Law Appellate Tribunal), Ministry of Corporate Affair Secretary Injeti Srinivas told agencies.
In 2019, the NCLT is expected to finalise corporate insolvency resolution process of several stressed assets through its 11 functional benches across India. These cases would include Essar Steel, Bhushan Power & Steel, Videocon Group, Monnet Ispat, Amtek Auto, Ruchi Soya, Lanco Infratech, Jaypee Infratech among others.
According to Srinivas, there are around 10,000 cases pending before the NCLT and the NCLAT at different stages and most of the new cases coming at these quasi-judicial forums are from the insolvency side.
“The government is focusing on these issues by increasing the number of members at NCLT and NCLAT. We would open more benches as per requirement and provide them more support in terns of trained staff, specially the young professionals and assistants, who would help the benches directly by doing research etc,” Srinivas said.
He further said, “We are putting a lot of emphasis on capacity building because these are all complex laws and new challenges keep coming. Whatever best capacity development can be done by holding seminars, conferences, all that has been done… We have tried to de-clog the NCLT.”