On June 14, 2017, the Reserve Bank of India asked banks to take the 12 biggest debt defaulters to bankruptcy courts. These dozen companies accounted for a quarter of the total bad loans plaguing Indian banks. Two years later, most of these are still clogging the banking system, raising doubts about the efficiency of India's bankruptcy regime.
Even as the resolution process of many stressed assets continues to suffer delays, the RBI eased norms for banks to take action against the defaulters.
In this weekly series of updates on stressed assets, we bring you all the main action that happened this past week.
Nearly two years after bankruptcy proceedings for Amtek Auto Ltd first began, the auto component maker started a fresh bidding process on Thursday. The company is also among the top 12 corporate defaulters the central bank had identified in June 2017.
The Delhi-based firm said in a stock-exchange filing that prospective bidders can submit their resolution plans by 6 pm on June 28.
The move comes after the Chandigarh bench of the National Company Law Tribunal in February allowed Amtek’s creditors to start the resolution process from scratch.
In March last year, the UK-based metals group Liberty House had emerged as the highest bidder for Amtek. However, it failed to honour its committments.
Bhushan Power & Steel
State-run Bank of Baroda has put on sale non-performing loans amounting to Rs 9,060 crore. These include two large accounts, Bhushan Power & Steel and Alok Industries, which are undergoing an insolvency resolution process but are facing delays.
The government-owned bank's website showed that Bhushan Power & Steel owes it Rs 2,099 crore and Alok Industries Rs 903 crore.
The companies were among the 12 largest defaulters the RBI had identified under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in 2017.
Bhushan Power is undergoing insolvency proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal's (NCLT) New Delhi bench. On February 4, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had directed the NCLT to decide on the resolution plan submitted by JSW Steel. Thereafter, the NCLT reserved its decision.
The delay prompted the Committee of Creditors of Bhushan Power to approach the NCLAT to expedite the resolution process. However, the NCLAT this week asked the NCLT to consider the matter "uninfluenced by any order", except the decision of the appellate tribunal and the Supreme Court.
The Jet Airways saga continued this week with the airline diving deeper into trouble as two of its operational creditors approached the insolvency tribunal on June 10.
The NCLT heard the case on June 13 and adjourned the plea against the beleaguered airline to June 20 as the airline needed more time to respond to notices for recovery of dues.
Shaman Wheels Pvt. Ltd and Gaggar Enterprises Pvt. Ltd had filed separate pleas against the Naresh Goyal-founded airline at the NCLT's Mumbai bench for recovery of dues.
Jet Airways owes its financial creditors, led by State Bank of India (SBI), about Rs 9,000 crore. Its total liabilities, which includes dues to vendors and operational creditors, are about Rs 15,000 crore.
The week saw a twist in the insolvency resolution process for Orchid Pharma Ltd, as its second attempt to find a buyer met with a hurdle.
Dhanuka Laboratories had emerged as the highest bidder for the debt-laden company on June 11. However, just before e-voting by the committee of creditors was to close, Punjab National Bank (International) Ltd changed its vote and opposed the proposal.
As per a regulatory filing by Orchid Pharma, voting on Dhanuka's resolution plan was kept open from June 7 to 4 pm on June 11. It initially received a favourable vote by the Committee of Creditors with 67.07% voting share. However, it received an email from Punjab National Bank at 3.33 pm on June 11 changing its vote.
The decision on the resolution plan will now be taken by the NCLT.
Last month, VCCircle had reported that Dhanuka and Covalent Laboratories Pvt. Ltd were among the three applicants which had been shortlisted.
The third bidder is Accord Life Spec. However, Dhanuka Laboratories has an edge over the others given its prominence in the industry.
Nizam Deccan Sugar Factory
In other smaller cases, the Hyderabad bench of the NCLT passed an order for liquidation of the ailing Nizam Deccan Sugar Factory Ltd after efforts to find a suitor for its revival failed.
In its order passed recently, the NCLT approved a petition moved by debtors of the sugar factory for liquidation, according to a report by The Hindu Business Line.
The Telangana government holds a 49% stake in the company. The erstwhile unified Andhra Pradesh state had divested a 51% stake in the company to a private firm as a part of the restructuring process of state-owned enterprises.