India now has a better robust judicial system, giving confidence to investors coming to the country. This is now conceded at various bilateral negotiations India has with other countries, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The discussion on the investment agreements - the Bilateral Investment Treaty - most often has issues coming up that the judicial process takes a lot of time; commercial courts are very few; the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) do suffer from the want of timely filing of positions and the process of Resolution Professionals (RP) and Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) are vitiated.
“But, when the processes removed all these little glitches of anyone trying to play up the system, we have greater confidence coming in the minds of the investors,” she said after inaugurating the renovated court premises of the NCLAT Chennai Bench here on Saturday.
“There were occasions, unfortunately, where some ‘interest’ were operating in the decision making at the level of the RPs. When it came to our notice, with the consultation of the judiciary, we have taken a corrective course of action, so that, that does not spread too much because we need to have a transparent process. They cannot be gaming of the system, and when gaming of the system was noticed, it was immediately put down,” she added.
“It has been repeatedly proven that the suggestion comes from the judiciary, and we have taken it up from the government’s side frequently and without any hesitation go to the Parliament and have more and more amendments which will only fine tune the Act,” she said.
“In spite of some opposition members asking us how often would you come for the amendment? Won’t you think of having the law in the first place well drafted or well thought through? We have explained it. At least three times, I have gone with the amendments and have no hesitation in saying that the law requires an amendment to be more robust and real-time meeting industry’s challenges and to address the industry’s requirement. So, that’s been well taken by the opposition and there has always been very good spirit and cooperation in having the amendments to the NCLT or to IBC. There has never been a question or hesitation or obstruction in having those amendments come through.
“Whether it is amendment, filling up the positions and make sure that there are enough RPs, I am in touch with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India to make sure that the professionals are skilled enough and periodically trained up to take up the cases. The latest amendment wherein the number of cases being handled by the RPs being made limited would only bring in greater scrutiny in to the process and also make it more transparent,” she said.
There has always been a bit of resentment outside about the Benches not being filled sooner with both the judicial and technical members. If only these members are appointed in time, and the cycle is maintained well oiled, the delays and the purpose of holding the NCLAT would be better served. The resentment was to say that if the filling up of the post happens in time, it would be beneficial. The government has taken the point very seriously, and of late, a lot of appointments have been made with full speed, she said.
Use word power for unity
Earlier in the day, Sitharaman said writers should use the word power as a tool to unite people and for the welfare of the country and not to spread any hatred or communal tension.
She was delivering the chief guest address at an event organised by the Vanavil Cultural Centre and The Duchess Club to felicitate Tamil writer Sivasankari for bagging Saraswati Samman Award 2022. In March, KK Birla Foundation conferred the award upon Sivasankari for her 2019 memoir ‘Surya Vamsam’. Considered to be the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature, the award carries a cash prize of ₹15 lakh, a plaque and a citation
Recalling some of Sivasankari’s works, Sitharaman said writers like her have the power of words that can influence the lives of individuals as well as transform society. Writings act as a mirror for individuals to self-reflect, she added.
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