In Parliament today: Nirmala Sitharaman introduces bill to amend Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in LS; 'North East is burning', Opposition denounces CAB

  • Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

  • The amendments seek to remove bottlenecks and streamline the corporate insolvency resolution process.

  • Some parliamentarians also brought up the recent protests in the North East against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Day after passing the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, Parliament on Thursday witnessed stormy scenes after some MPs expressed their objections to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabhaby Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Some MPs also protested and raised slogans about the protests in the North East against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Opposition members raised slogans saying 'poora North East jal raha hai' (The whole of the North East is on fire), while Congress's Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "Already Army has been deployed. The Kashmir phenomenon has been replicated in the northeast region. Both the areas are of strategic importance. Even the foreign minister in Bangladesh has disagreed with India's claims."

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill introduced in LS

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code amid protests from the Opposition that demanded the bill to be referred to a standing committee for scrutiny.

The amendments seek to remove bottlenecks and streamline the corporate insolvency resolution process, wherein successful bidders will be ring-fenced from any risk of criminal proceedings for offences committed by previous promoters of companies concerned.

 In Parliament today: Nirmala Sitharaman introduces bill to amend Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in LS; North East is burning, Opposition denounces CAB

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. PTI

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which came into force in 2016, has already been amended thrice. The latest changes pertain to various sections as well as introduction of a new section.
Explaining the rationale, Sitharaman said the amendment has been necessitated because there was lot of doubt in the mind of small home buyers and others.

"Some amendments were required in addition to what we did in July. Therefore, we have come back," she said.

Acknowledging that a two-day mandatory notice had not been given in this case, Sitharaman said: "It is in response to development which we see in the economy.... Please do help us to respond to the economy as all of us are equally concerned."

Opposing the introduction of the bill without following the mandatory two-day notice, Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury said one after another amendment was brought in the IBC and it implied "inconsistency" of the government in managing the economy.

He also pointed to the rule that no bill could be introduced until copies were made available two days in advance.

The bill was circulated among the members in the morning, Chowdhury said, adding, the objection was that the ministry had been taking the entire Parliament for a ride .

He requested the Speaker to send the Bill to a parliamentary standing committee, which was supported by Saugata Roy of the TMC.

Amidst the war of words, the Speaker intervened and said he had allowed the minister to introduce the Bill due to paucity of time.

The IBC (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. The first amendment was passed by Parliament in July.

As per the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, it seeks to amend Section 7 of the IBC to insert certain provisions specifying a minimum threshold for certain classes of financial creditors for initiating insolvency resolution process.

It also seeks to amend section 227 of the Code so as to clarify that the insolvency and liquidation proceedings for financial service providers may be conducted with such modifications and in such manner as may be prescribed.

In addition, five other amendments were moved through the bill for further strengthening insolvency process.

Kashmir phenomenon replicated in North East, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

These amendments are aimed at removing certain difficulties being faced during insolvency resolution process to realise the objectives of the code and to further ease doing of business.

Speaking on the protests in the North East against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "Already, the army has been deployed. The Kashmir phenomenon has been replicated in the North East region. Both the areas are of strategic importance. Even the foreign minister in Bangladesh has disagreed with India's claims."

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks in the Lok Sabha. PTI

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury speaks in the Lok Sabha. PTI

Alleging that the Congress was instigating violence in the northeast region, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Jodhi said, "I condemn their attitude." Following Joshi's remarks, Congress members along with those from the DMK walked out of the House proceedings.

Later during the Zero Hour, Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress too raised the Assam and Tripura situation demanded a statement from the government on this. The TMC MPs too walked out of the House in protest.

Sanskrit mother of all languages, including English: Satya Pal Singh

Baghpat MP Satya Pal Singh spoke in detail on the importance of the Sanskrit language in the context of the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill. The Bill seeks to provide a framework to establish universities for teaching and research in Sanskrit and to develop all-inclusive Sanskrit promotion activities.

During a debate on the Bill, Singh said, "Everyone wants pure air, pure water and pure food; it is similarly important to speak in a pure language such as Sanskrit."

Citing similarities between some Sanskrit words and English words, Singh said, "Sanskrit is the mother of the English language."

He further claimed that Malayalam is based on Sanskrit to the extent of 70 percent, and that Tamil is based on Sanskrit to the extent of 30 percent, although it is not clear what the basis of these figures is.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 12, 2019 18:06:51 IST