The Government is considering increasing the number of benches in BIFR, the quasi-judicial body that looks at revival of financially sick companies, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said yesterday. Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) currently has only three benches, which is one of the reasons why revival or winding up cases get dragged for years.
“Review of performance and expanding the number of benches (in BIFR) is under consideration of the Government,” Mukherjee said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

He, however, said the Government cannot fix a time frame for disposal of cases referred to it as BIFR was a quasi-judicial body.

Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said of the 7,472 cases received by BIFR, 4620 were disposed of and 1,031 cases were pending. 744 companies have been declared sick and winding up recommended in case of 1,229.

Certain delays do occur, he said.

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0 Comments

  1. TDS says:

    While in India the term “quasi judicial” has totally been rendered a misnomer and superfluous, there no doubt was a need for additinal Benches of the BIFR which, pardon me for saying, all along suffered from the absence in considerable number of persons with hands-on and proper experience and expertise in, as well as exposure to, handling/analysis of accounts/balance sheets, etc., and administering taxation/financial laws. This body has long become a very sure haven, as most specialised bodies inter alia like the SFIO, for the generalists of all generalists, the IAS, and, also partly for the officers trained mainly in handling government accounts based in general in the “single entry system”.

    Expertise and competence apart, the selection of Chairman and Members, as well as the officers sent on deputation/staff working in the Board has never been transp[arent and, as usual with all such bodies with the so called quasi judicial bodies, corruption is the only thing which is transparent-and., of course, rampant. Having the case of a company “somehow or other” brought under the jurisdiction of the BIFR has itself a very big business, the reason being the statutory protection stipulated against the recovery of any state and central taxes due from any (defaulter)company whose case comes to the Board.
    Moreover, it is also public knowledge, to the utter chagrin of small/individual share holders of many such companies, cheated for years, that once a company’s matter is within the jurisdiction, the management starts lllegally denuduing the undertakings/factories of its assets.

    One only hopes that the FM and the BIFR are aware of all this.

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