Lok Sabha passes key amendment bill on reconstruction of financial assets

New Delhi, Aug 1 – The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Piloted by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the bill seeks to amend four laws — the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002; the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993; the Indian Stamp Act, 1899; and the Depositories Act, 1996.

The present law simplifies the procedures by which there will be a quick disposal of claims of banks and financial institutions, Jaitley said.

He said most suggestions made by a joint committee of parliament on the issue have been accepted by the government.

The bill was passed by a voice vote after the amendments moved by opposition members were either withdrawn or negated.

Replying to queries on the bill from Lok Sabha members, including B. Mahtab and Tatagatha Sathpathy (both Biju Janata Dal), Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress) and Sushmita Dev (Congress), the Finance Minister said the new law will empower the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to examine the statements and any information of Asset Reconstruction Companies related to their business.

The bill further empowers the RBI to carry out audit and inspection of these companies. The RBI may penalise a company if it fails to comply with any directions issued by the central bank, the officials said.

It says the stamp duty will not be charged on transactions undertaken for transfer of financial assets in favour of asset reconstruction companies. Financial assets include loans and collaterals.

Congress member Sushmita Dev initiated the debate on the bill, which was introduced on May 11.


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