MUMBAI: Five steel companies referred to the bankruptcy courts in the first batch are seeing more than Rs 2.09 lakh crore of claims, with many coming from their group firms that have been suppliers to the defaulters, data compiled by ET show.
Lenders who are set to meet resolution professionals of the respective companies next week to take a stock of the situation are worried about how the resolution plan would work in backdrop of sharp rise in claims, coupled with the recent amendments in IBC.
Last week, the government amended the code to prevent wilful defaulters and other defaulters with one-year overdues from participating in the resolution process. Insolvency lawyer Sumant Batra said the amendment in the Act will cause disruption in pending insolvency proceedings because “eligibility of all bidders will have to be ascertained before examining their bids”.
“Earlier, the resolution plan had to qualify for consideration, now the bidder has also to qualify,” Batra said.
“In cases where only promoter has submitted a plan, and such promoter is found to be ineligible, fresh bids would need to be invited,” he said.
There are 12 companies that the Reserve Bank of India mandated banks to refer to bankruptcy courts. Their outstanding loans from the banking industry were originally estimated at Rs 2.25 lakh crore. But bankers now say that if the claims of operational creditors’ is factored, the total dues by these companies could easily cross Rs 3.5 lakh crore.
With higher than estimated claims and the amendments in recovery law, credit resolutions will have to be finalised keeping in mind interest of all stakeholders, particularly those of homebuyers in the case of Jaypee Infratech to prevent any negative repercussions.
The first batch of companies referred to IBC include Essar Steel, Monnet Ispat, Bhushan Power & Steel, Bhushan Steel, Electrosteel Steels, Alok Industries, Amtek Auto, Jaypee Infratech, Lanco Infratech, Jyoti Structures, ABG Shipyard, and Era Infra.
Out of these, Era Infra is yet to be admitted to bankruptcy court as the process is struck due to ligations with lenders. The other two firms that have yet not disclosed the amount of claims from operational creditors are Jaypee Infra and Jyoti Structures. The nine firms, which have made public information about the claims, received claims of Rs 2.87 lakh crore from financial creditors and Rs 38,044 crore from operational creditors. The resolution professional will accept only those claims that can be verified.