Bankruptcy Code can unlock Rs 25,000 cr in NPAs in 5 years: Assocham

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) Proper implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 can potentially free about Rs 25,000 crore capital locked up as non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, over the next four-five years, Assocham said on Monday.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) made the observation citing a study, “Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016: A Game Changer”, which it conducted jointly with rating agency Crisil.

In a statement, it said: “If implemented successfully, the code will help India’s banking sector catch up with or even exceed the recovery rate of 32 per cent and average time taken of 2.8 years in other emerging markets.”

The released capital can be deployed for other productive lending which, in turn, could help in credit expansion, the report said.

The code will also help foster better credit discipline, it said.

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already tightened norms for wilful defaulters which, together with implementation of the code, will enhance recoveries from such borrowers and improve overall credit discipline,” the report said.

Assocham also said that the legislation could improve recovery rate of asset reconstruction companies (ARCs), which has been low at an average of 36 per cent and resolution taking about five years, as timely recovery remains key to long-term sustainability of ARCs.

According to the study, “effective implementation of the code will help in preserving the value of asset and faster resolution, so that ARCs will be able to churn capital faster and enhance returns”.

“It will also attract investments into the distressed assets space, open up new avenues for ARCs and help them participate in the huge market for NPAs.”

Assocham further said this code will aid development of corporate bond market.

“With greater certainty of outcome and faster resolutions expected because of the code, the interest of both domestic and foreign investors in lower-rated paper will increase over a period of time,” it said.

“Strong bankruptcy code can strengthen creditor rights and can lead to deepening of bond markets.”

Moreover, combined with other ongoing structural reforms, the code is expected to improve India’s Ease of Doing Business and Global Competitiveness rankings significantly.

“With the implementation of the code, India’s position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking will improve, attracting more foreign investors,” the study noted.

According to Assocham, India’s ranking would also improve in terms of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness ranking once the code gets implemented successfully, thereby improving the financial market development parameter, which is one of the 12 parameters taken into consideration.

“Over a period of time, the code will help promote entrepreneurship and increase the role of professionals from various fields, such as law, accountancy and finance,” the study said.

It also said that the code will benefit employees and workmen, as they can initiate insolvency proceedings for unpaid dues and have greater lien in the distribution of liquidation proceeds.

–IANS

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