Even as the government is unable to pass the GST bill due to "collateral reasons", Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday introduced the Bankruptcy Bill in the Lok Sabha.
The proposed amendment in the existing Bankruptcy Bill aims at providing speedy trial in the insolvency cases.
The government had constituted a Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee, led by former Law Secretary Dr TK Viswanathan, to cater to the issues related to bankruptcy. The committee had on 4 November submitted a report along with a draft bill that aimed at resolving bankruptcy cases within 180 days.
The proposed Bankruptcy Code, which meets global standards, aims at dealing with the insolvency cases and in recovering the money lent to companies with fair and speedy trial. During his 2015-16 budget speech, Jaitley had said that the reform in the bankruptcy law is of utmost importance in improving ease of doing business in the country, The Hindu reported.
The panel had also suggested that multiple adjudicating authorities be created and an Insolvency Regulator be formed that would regulate insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities.
"This regulator may have an administrative law wing to perform the quasi-judicial functions of the regulator," the draft said.
The draft also mentioned that the set time limit of 180 days to solve cases can be extended by 90 days "if the Adjudicating Authority determines that the case is of such complexity that an orderly corporate insolvency resolution process cannot be completed within one hundred and eighty days".
Delay in GST bill
The government decided to introduce the bill even as it was unsuccessful in passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill amid protests from the Congress.
Jaitley had on Saturday said that the government may not be able to pass the GST bill, but will introduce the Bankruptcy Bill.
While talking about the delay in GST bill, he had said, "Some people do get sadistic pleasure in seeing India slow down. But then, it's a sadistic pleasure at a very severe national cost. We cannot allow that," PTI reported.
"I have no doubt in my mind that attempt to delay (GST) is entirely for collateral reasons. And the only collateral reason I suspect is if I couldn't do it, then why should somebody else do it?" he had added.
The Centre has long been trying to pass the GST bill, which proposes to impose a national Value added Tax (VAT) on the manufacture, sale and purchase of goods and serives across India from April 2016.
Although the NDA government was successful in passing the legislation in the Lok Sabha last year after acquiring majority of votes. However, the Centre is struggling to pass the GST bill in the Rajya Sabha, where the opposition has been stalling the proceedings by staging protests. The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government does not have a majority in the Upper House.
Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had on Sunday said that the Centre can pass the bill by addressing the concerns of the Congress party, PTI reported.
He tweeted on Sunday morning that he agrees with Jaitley that a delayed GST bill is better than a flawed one. Jaitley had in Parliament said, "A delayed GST is better than a flawed GST."
"Congress' three weighty objections & the bill could be passed. One per cent tax is anyway dead. Scrap the provision... Rate cap can be provided in the bill through skillful drafting. Talk to the opposition," Chidambaram had said in a series of other tweets.
Apart from Bankruptcy Bill, the government also aims at introducing the arbitration act and commercial court bill in the Rajya Sabha in the remaining days of the winter session of Parliament.
The ongoing winter session of Parliament will end on Wednesday.