Historic mandate

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Challenges abound as India’s new government takes charge

Applause for the efficient running of the recent elections has been loud and long. With 900 million potential voters, 12 million polling workers and a million polling booths, the carefully calibrated election to the lower house of the Indian parliament is unlike any other on the planet. That it was largely peaceful and that the process used is relatively credible is laudable. It is a crucial test for the ruling party and a source of pride for the population at large.

It should instil in the parliamentarians – both old and new – the drive to interrogate and legislate wisely. India faces considerable and complex challenges that deserve an efficient and effective parliament and one that respects the voter. Only this could justify the enormous cost to the exchequer in conducting the elections and the gravity of the process.

One of the many tasks before the new government is to breathe life into the many companies that are weighed down by debt. In this month’s Cover story, we analyse just how far the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) has succeeded. It is generally agreed that “the defaulters paradise is lost”, as stated by the Supreme Court in a recent ruling that upheld the constitutionality of the IBC. In addition, many of the key legal questions asked in the course of implementing the IBC have been answered.

Yet, alarm bells have been ringing for some time now about the all-important timelines in the IBC being overrun. Add to that indications that creditors wanting to realize better value could be looking to sidestep the IBC – a case in point being Jet Airways where creditors have not yet invoked the IBC.

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