Bankruptcy bill tabled in LS; Oppn to refer it to joint panel

Bankruptcy bill tabled in LS; Oppn to refer it to joint panel
The government on Tuesday introduced “the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015” in Lok Sabha after failing to reach a consensus with Opposition parties to refer the bill to a joint committee.

The government, however, requested the Opposition members to come armed with individual party’s opinion on the last day of the winter session on Wednesday so that a call can be taken on the fate of economic reform initiating legislation.

The bill was listed in the legislative business of Lok Sabha but Parliamentary Affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the House post lunch that the government was trying to bring all parties to a common understanding for referring it to the joint committee of parliament, having members from Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. He told the House that while there was a consensus in Lok Sabha, differences arise with Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

Later in the evening, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley came to Lok Sabha to introduce the bill since the last minute efforts failed.

Without naming the Opposition, Jaitley said some parties have got into the habit of only creating hurdles in Parliament. “It is only an obstacle race where my only job is to jump obstacle race,” Jaitley commented since most import legislative agenda of this session – the GST Bill – too was sacrificed due to resistance from the Congress. TMC MP Prof Saugata Roy, participating in the debate, questioned the government’s intention of  bringing an important legislation on the last but one day of Parliament session which he said required amending 252 clauses and eleven different Acts.

Praising the minister for being good at drafting and introducing legislation in Parliament, Roy said that Jaitley was bringing bills “on the rebound” after he failed to get GST bill passed in this session and in “a lawyer manner where none is needed”. Drawing a parallel with Jaitley, he recalled that another lawyer-turned-Congress minister Kapil Sibal had brought several bills during his stint as HRD minister in the UPA regime. The bill provides for setting up of a Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India to regulate professionals, agencies and information utilities engaged in resolution of insolvencies of companies, partnership firms and individuals.

“The Code also proposes to establish a fund to be called the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Fund of India,” said the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.

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