President promulgates amended Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code for MSMEs

The President on Sunday promulgated the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, giving effect to the cabinet approval for amendments in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code), through an ordinance.

The amendments aim to provide an efficient alternative insolvency resolution framework for corporate persons classified as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the Code, for ensuring quicker, cost-effective and value maximising outcomes for all the stakeholders, in a manner which is least disruptive to the continuity of MSMEs’ businesses and which preserves jobs. 
The initiative is based on a trust model and the amendments honour the honest MSME owners by trying to ensure that the resolution happens and the company remains with them.
It is expected that the incorporation of pre-packaged insolvency resolution process for MSMEs in the Code will alleviate the distress faced by MSMEs due to the impact of the pandemic and the unique nature of their business, duly recognising their importance in the economy. 
It provides an efficient alternative insolvency resolution framework for corporate persons classified as MSMEs for timely, efficient and cost-effective resolution of distress thereby ensuring positive signal to debt market, employment preservation, ease of doing business and preservation of enterprise capital. 
Other expected impact and benefits of the amendment in the Code include lessening the burden on the adjudicating authority, assured continuity of business operations for corporate debtor (CD), less process costs and maximum assets realisation for financial creditors (FC) and assurance of continued business relation with CD and rights protection for operational creditors (OC).
The Amendment Ordinance seeks to amend sections such as 4, 5, 11, 33, 34, 61, 65, 77, 208, 239, 240 and insert new sections such as 11A, 67A, 77A and a new chapter as IIIA on pre-packaged insolvency resolution process for MSMEs in the Code based on recommendations made by the Insolvency Law Committee (ILC).