The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), in exercise of its powers conferred under the provisions of the Insolvency Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), has issued various discussion papers and has sought comments, inter alia, on the following issues:
- Amendments to IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Process) Regulations 2016 | Discussion Paper dated November 1, 2023
By way of the said discussion paper, the IBBI, inter alia, noted various issues that arise during the insolvency process of a Corporate Debtor including lack of explicit approval for insolvency resolution costs by the Committee of Creditors (CoC), irregularities in the scheduling of CoC meetings, delayed discussion on valuation methodologies, inadequate disclosure of valuation reports, leading to information asymmetry, ambiguities in the process during extension applications, unclear entitlements for dissenting financial creditors, and insufficiencies in the content and structure of resolution plans. In this regard, the IBBI proposed mandating CoC approval for all insolvency resolution process costs, establishing a regular schedule for CoC meetings, involving the CoC early in discussions about valuation methodologies, ensuring full disclosure of the fair value in the information memorandum, providing clear guidelines for continuing the process during extension applications, defining specific entitlements for dissenting financial creditors and well as revising the structure and content requirements of resolution plans to ensure clarity and efficiency.
The above proposed amendments aim to enhance the efficiency, transparency, and fairness of the corporate insolvency resolution process, thereby boosting stakeholder confidence in the insolvency resolution process. They are designed to streamline procedures, reduce ambiguities, and ensure a more equitable approach to resolving corporate insolvency in India.
- Strengthening the Liquidation Process | Discussion Paper dated October 20, 2023
To regulate and strengthen the regulatory framework of the liquidation process in terms of certain matters related to sale, and accountability of liquidator towards stakeholders, the IBBI, sought to amend the IBBI (Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2016 in relation to issues relating to sale such as insufficient time granted to the bidders, time taken by liquidators in verifying/inspection of bidders, and possibility of collusion between liquidator and bidders. The IBBI, inter alia, proposed increasing of checks and balances in private sale, reduction of reserve price by not more than 10% (ten percent) in an auction, and listing of assets on a centralised platform etc. Further, to strengthen communication mechanisms between the Liquidator and the Stakeholders Consultation Committee (SCC), the Discussion paper solicited comments on proposals like circulation of progress reports to the SCC, consultation with the SCC members by decreasing the gap between 2 (two) consecutive meetings, circulation of preliminary reports to the SCC members, discussion on valuations, going concern sale as well as other areas with the SCC members.
The proposals aid in building much-needed transparency in the private sale process while also stressing the accountability of the liquidators in such instances. All the aforementioned amendments are targeted towards a common goal of furthering transparency and accountability in the liquidation process. The SCC members play a crucial role in the liquidation process of a Corporate Debtor and consultation with them at different stages of the process will aid in enhancing information symmetry as well as the decision-making process.
- Streamlining the Voluntary Liquidation Process | Discussion Paper dated October 5, 2023
With a view to introduce amendments in IBBI (Voluntary Liquidation Process) Regulations, 2017, the Discussion paper has called upon comments on various issues including but not limited to disclosure by Corporate Persons, filing of a status report by the liquidator in the event of failure to comply with the prescribed timeframe of 270 (two hundred seventy) days, obtaining of prior permission of appropriate regulator for initiation of voluntary liquidation proceedings in case of Financial Service Providers, withdrawal from the Corporate Liquidation Account even before the order allowing dissolution is issued, and submission of Form H, final report as well as the dissolution order along with the final data in the electronic platform as may be notified by the IBBI.
The above suggestions certainly strengthen the essential principle of preservation of time value in the liquidation process. It shall also ensure that the liquidators as well as the corporate person are kept abreast of the pending issues, thereby allowing the corporate persons to make necessary provisioning, if any.