Bankrupt Jet Airways’ lenders approve resolution plan

News Network
October 17, 2020

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A panel of creditors to Jet Airways India Ltd. approved a resolution plan for the bankrupt airline, bringing a 16-month long process to recover dues to lenders closer to completion.

Jet Airways’ lenders accepted the plans submitted by Murari Lal Jalan and Florian Fritsch, the carrier said in a filing on Saturday. The airline didn’t provide any further details on the bidders or their proposal.

Once India’s largest carrier by the number of passengers, Jet Airways went into bankruptcy in 2019 after it failed to repay mounting debt, reflective of the nation’s struggling aviation sector.

The lenders approved the plan via e-voting, and the carrier’s resolution official will now seek to take the process forward in the bankruptcy court, the company said.

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Agencies
October 24,2020

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Kashmir, Oct 24: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), which is fighting for restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is an anti-BJP platform but not an anti-national amalgam.

"I want to tell you that this false propaganda by the BJP that the PAGD is anti-national. I want to tell them that this is not true. There is no doubt that it is anti-BJP but it is not anti-national," he told reporters here.

The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar was elected chairman of the PAGD after the first meeting of the amalgam at the residence of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

Abdullah said the BJP has tried to break the federal structure through acts like the abrogation of Article 370 and dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

"They have tried to destroy the constitution of the country, they have tried to divide the nation, to break the federal structure which we saw what they did on August 5 last year,” the NC president said.

"I want to tell them that this (PAGD) is not an anti-national jamaat. Our aim is that people of Jammu Kashmir, and Ladakh should get their rights back. That's where our battle is, our battle is not for more than that," he said.

Abdullah said the BJP was doing propaganda against the constituents of the PAGD in Jammu and elsewhere in the country.

"They are trying to divide us (people of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh) in the name of religion. This attempt will not succeed. This is not a religious battle, this is a fight for our identity and for that identity, we are standing together," he said. 

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News Network
October 14,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 14: The Supreme Court Wednesday said the centre should implement "as soon as possible" interest waiver on loans of up to Rs 2 crore under the RBI moratorium scheme in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the common man's Diwali is in the government's hands.

The apex court sought to know from the Centre as to whether the benefit of loan interest waiver for borrowers of up to Rs 2 crore during the moratorium period has “percolated” to the common man.

The court, which observed that it is concerned about how the benefit of interest waiver would be given to borrowers, said the Centre has taken a “welcome decision” by taking note of the plight of the common man but authorities have not issued any order in this regard.

“Something concrete has to be done,” a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said, adding, “Benefits of waivers to borrowers up to Rs 2 crore must be implemented as soon as possible”.

The top court, which posted the matter for hearing on November 2, told the advocates appearing for the Centre and banks that “Diwali is in your hand”.

The Centre recently told the apex court that going any further than the fiscal policy decisions already taken, such as waiver of compound interest charged on loans of up to Rs 2 crore for six months moratorium period, maybe "detrimental" to the overall economic scenario, the national economy and banks may not take "inevitable financial constraints".

The top court is hearing a batch of petitions which have raised issues concerning the six-month loan moratorium period announced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bench, also comprising Justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said when authorities have decided something then it has to be implemented.

“The government has taken a welcome decision taking note of the plight of common man. But you have not issued any order to anybody. You have simply given us the affidavit,” the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

“We are now concerned about how waiver benefit will be given,” the bench said, adding, “We are only asking whether the loan interest waiver has percolated or not”.

During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, Mehta told the bench that the Centre has taken an “informed decision” and has taken a “huge burden”.

“When Central Government says on an affidavit that it will be implemented then there should not be any apprehensions,” Mehta said. “There is diversity in lending and different modalities are required to be followed.”

He said banks would waive interest on interest and then will be compensated by the government and calculation will have different modalities.

“We are telling you that it is a welcome decision but they want some concrete things,” the bench observed, adding, “We welcome the decision of the Centre, only thing it should be translated practically”.

The bench said the Centre may take steps to implement its decisions referred to in the affidavits filed in the court.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for banks association, told the bench that banks would implement whatever decision has been taken by the government.

Senior lawyer Rajeev Dutta, appearing for one of the petitioners, said the banks are capitalizing by taking interest on interest on existing loans.

“We are small people with small loans (less than Rs 2 crore). They should not compound the interest in these cases," Dutta said.

To this, the bench said it has already ordered that banks cannot declare NPAs.

“We have already passed an order prohibiting classification of NPA's and without a fiscal policy, proposals cannot be altered,” it said, while asking the Centre and banks association as to when the benefits would be implemented.

“For these modalities you require one-month time,” the bench asked.

Salve said, “The complexity is such, it requires time”.

The bench, however, said that the decisions taken by the authorities should be implemented now.

The top court is hearing the petitions, including the one which has sought a direction to declare the portion of an RBI notification, issued on March 27, "ultra vires to the extent it charges interest on the loan amount during the moratorium period..."

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently filed an affidavit in the apex court recently saying that loan moratorium exceeding six months might result in “vitiating the overall credit discipline”, which will have a “debilitating impact” on the process of credit creation in the economy.

These affidavits were filed following the top court's October 5 order asking them to place on record the K V Kamath committee recommendations on debt restructuring because of the Covid-19 related stress on various sectors as well as the notifications and circulars issued so far on loan moratorium.

It has also said that the apex court’s interim order of September 4, restraining classification of accounts into non-performing accounts in terms of the directions issued by the RBI, may kindly be vacated with immediate effect.

The Kamath panel had made recommendations for 26 sectors that could be factored by lending institutions while finalising loan resolution plans and had said that banks could adopt a graded approach based on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic on a sector.

Initially, the RBI on March 27 had issued the circular which allowed lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans falling due between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, due to the pandemic.

Later, the period of the moratorium was extended till August 31 this year.

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News Network
October 12,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 12: Seven Indians, who were kidnapped in Libya last month, have been released, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.

The Indian nationals, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, were kidnapped at Asshwerif on September 14 when they were on their way to the Tripoli airport to catch a flight to India.

"We are happy to inform you that the seven Indian nationals who had been abducted at Asshwerif in Libya on September 14 were finally released yesterday," the MEA said.

Last week, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the Indians were working at a construction and Oil field supplies company.

"Our Ambassador to Tunisia Puneet Roy Kundal spoke to them over the phone after they were handed over by the abductors to the company Al Shola Al Mudia. All of them are in good health and are currently staying in the company's premises in Brega. We are trying to complete requisite formalities to enable their return to India," the MEA said.

Following the kidnapping, the Indian embassy in Tunisia reached out to the Libyan government authorities as also the international organisations present there, seeking help in rescuing the Indian nationals.

The Indian mission in Tunisia handles matters relating to the welfare of Indian nationals in Libya.

Libya, an oil-rich country in North Africa, has been witnessing large-scale violence and unrest since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's four-decade regime in 2011.

"We convey our sincere thanks to the Libyan authorities and the tribal elders from the region for their steadfast cooperation in securing the release of our nationals unharmed," the MEA said.

It also reiterated that there is ban on travel of Indian nationals to Libya, irrespective of the purpose, since May 2016 because of the security situation there.

In September 2015, an advisory was issued by the government for Indian nationals to avoid travelling to Libya in view of the security situation there.

In May 2016, the government imposed a complete travel ban irrespective of the purpose in view of the deteriorating security situation in Libya.

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