Budget Session Phase 2 Clocks 80% Productivity; Curtailed due to Coronavirus

The Parliament met on 2nd March 2020 for the phase 2 of the budget session after a short break. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha clocked 86% and 74% productivity respectively until the budget session was called off on March 23, 12 days before schedule due to the growing fears of Coronavirus pandemic.
Complete Coverage: Coronavirus

Crux of the Matter

Complete Coverage: Parliament Budget Session 1st Innings Plays Out With Bouquets And Brickbats

Day 10
On 2nd March, Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which proposes to increase the time period for termination from 12 to 20 weeks and the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks to regulate the mining sector in India was introduced in Lok Sabha as the Budget Session 2.0 began.

Rajya Sabha began discussions on the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020  and the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019.

Day 11
On March 3, The Banking Regulation Amendment Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha. The Bill would keep certain types of agricultural credit societies outside the ambit of the 1949 Banking Regulation Act and strengthen cooperative banks. Clause-by-clause voting on the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 was taken up in Lok Sabha but the house was adjourned without passage of the bill due to repeated disruptions.

Day 12
On March 4, the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill, 2020 was passed with amendments in the Budget Session. The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was also introduced in the Lok Sabha.

The Standing Committee on Finance presented its report on Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 in both the houses. It recommended using the process of delegated legislation through the formulation of rules by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.

3 members expressed their dissent for the provision that homebuyers could initiate insolvency proceedings against builders only if the resolution application is jointly filed by at least 10% of homebuyers on the same project.

Day 13
On March 5, Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan informed both the houses of the government’s steps for universal screening of all international passengers entering India to tackle the Coronavirus. Many MPs highlighted the issue of fake news being circulated over social media and also overpricing of masks and hand sanitizers.

Under Rule 374, the Lok Sabha suspended 7 Congress MPs for the remaining Budget session for their unruly behaviour and misconduct of snatching papers from the Speaker’s table. The 7 MPs are namely Gaurav Gogoi, T N Prathapan, Dean Kuriakose, Manicka Tagore, Rajmohan Unnithan, Benny Behanan and Gurjeet Singh Aujla.

While the BJP welcomed the decision, INC leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged the government of revenge politics and termed the decision as ‘dictatorial’.

“Our members had done nothing wrong. The decision was motivated by revenge politics and what happened today is a tale of embarrassment in the history of Parliament.”

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, INC Leader

Day 14
On March 6, the Lok Sabha passed the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 without any discussion.

The Mineral Laws Bill will remove the restrictions for certain coal mines and will further allow the transfer of statutory clearances from previous lessees to successful bidders for two years. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code will allow certain financial creditors to initiate an insolvency process in the event of default.

“This Bill will transform the mining sector in the country by boosting coal production and reducing dependence on imports and in turn also promote Ease of Doing Business.”

– Prahlad Joshi, Union Coal & Mines Minister.

Day 15
On 11th March, Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S.Jaishankar addressed the Rajya Sabha over the growing concerns of 6000 Indians stranded in Iran due to Coronavirus. He also informed that the Cabinet Secretary is following up with all states to set up isolation wards.

The Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla reconsidered the decision of the chair and revoked the suspension of the 7 MPs. As the Lok Sabha took up the discussion of the riots in Delhi, fierce disruption was seen from the opposition. AIMIM MP Owaisi, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya put out strong opposing views. Later Home Minister Amit Shah also replied to the debate by stating the facts and figures of the riot and also promised strict and swift action against those behind the riots.

Day 16
On March 12, the Rajya Sabha passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment Bill), 2020 but without the incorporation of the Standing Committee recommendations and the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was also passed.

In the second half, the government faced a lot of heat from the opposition in the Rajya sabha over the discussion of Delhi Riots wherein the opposition accused the Home Minister of failing to control the riots and also demanded clarification on CAA-NPR-NRC. Replying to the debate, the Home Minister gave point to point reply informing measures taken by the Delhi Police to investigate the riots and also criticized the Shaheen Bagh protest and clarified that no one’s citizenship would be taken away due to CAA or NPR.

Complete Coverage: Chronology of Delhi Riots

The Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha; this bill would replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 and set up a Board of Major Port Authority for each Major Port in the country. The Demand for Grants by the Ministry of Railways was also discussed in the Lok Sabha which highlighted the declining business of passenger and freight trains due to other modes of transport.

Day 17
On 15th March, the Lok Sabha passed the Demand for Grants for the Ministry of Railways. The Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 was taken up in Rajya Sabha where the MPs expressed their concerns over not addressing the root causes of high pendency of tax disputes. The House passed the motion to return the bill to the Lok Sabha as it can only send recommendations in case of a money bill.

Day 18
On March 16, the Rajya Sabha gave its assent to the Central Sanskrit Universities Bill, 2019 which will convert Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha into Central Sanskrit Universities.

The Standing Committee report on the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was tabled in Lok Sabha. It seeks to prohibit unauthorized recording and broadcasting of a film and make provision for a prison term of up to 3 years, or a fine of up to Rs.10 lakh.

The Lok Sabha passed the Demand for Grants of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Ministry of Tourism. The Appropriation Bill, 2020 was introduced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and also subsequently passed.

Day 19
The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha which seeks to decriminalize technical lapses under the 2013 Companies Act. Some Members opposed the bill and demanded to send it to a Standing Committee. This demand was put down by the Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur stating that the Bill only covered technical and procedural defaults.

The Lok Sabha then took up the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that proposes to recognize the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) as statutory bodies. One of the MPs asked the Civil Aviation Minister to pass the benefit of low rates of crude oil to aircraft operators; to which Minister Hardeep Singh Puri asked for aviation fuel to be brought under the GST regime.

The Rajya Sabha also took up The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 for discussion which aims to repeal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and set up a National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM). The house also discussed The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019 which proposes to set up the National Commission for Homoeopathy(NCH).

Day 20
The Rajya Sabha passed both The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 and The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019.

In the Zero Hour of Lok Sabha, an MP raised a demand to expand the list of Scheduled Languages to recognize Rajasthani, Bhoti, and Bhojpuri. The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs assured that the government is considering this demand to be added to the 8th Schedule.

Day 21
On March 19, the Lok Sabha passed the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020 to merge 3 Ayurveda institutes into one which will now be called the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda and will be designated as an institution of National Importance. Rajya Sabha discussed the Working of the Ministry of MSME; Nitin Gadkari, Minister for MSME said, “the sector contributes 29% of the GDP growth and 33% of manufacturing and has created about 11 crore jobs.”

Day 22
On March 23, The Finance Bill, 2020 was passed in the Lok Sabha and The National Forensic Sciences University Bill, 2020 and the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill, 2020 were introduced.

The house also gave an extension for the submission of the Joint Committee Report on The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019. In Rajya Sabha, the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020 was introduced. Later, the house took up clause by clause consideration of the Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bills for 2020. After growing pressure from the opposition to curtail the ongoing Budget Session, both the Houses were adjourned sine die 12 days ahead of schedule due to the growing cases of coronavirus.

Curiopedia

Zero Hour – The time immediately following the Question Hour has come to be known as “Zero Hour”. It starts at around 12 noon (hence the name) and members can, with prior notice to the Speaker, raise issues of importance during this time. Typically, discussions on important Bills, the Budget, and other issues of national importance take place from 2 p.m. onwards. More Info

Money Bill – In the Westminster system a money bill or supply bill is a bill that solely concerns taxation or government spending as opposed to changes in public law. It can be introduced only in Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha may not amend money bills but can recommend amendments. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha certifies the bill as a money bill before sending it to the upper house, and the decision of the Speaker is binding on both the Houses. A money bill must be returned to the Lok Sabha within 14 days, or the bill is deemed be passed in both houses in the form it was originally passed by the Lok Sabha. More Info

Understanding Recessions even as the Globe Locks Down

The collapse of economic activities due to the coronavirus and its subsequent impacts is reportedly leading towards a worldwide recession. But what exactly is a recession? What is an economic slowdown? Can a virus cause a recession?

Crux of the Matter

The state of the world economy is highly uncertain across the world with national health emergencies being declared due to the outbreak of the China-originated Coronavirus. The share markets are plunging down to record lows; central banks are issuing interest cuts and trying to understand the impact of this pandemic to try to safeguard their economies from a recession.

Read Summachar’s complete coverage on impact of Coronavirus

There is a lot still unknown about the coronavirus and amidst this, the world economies are deteriorating which is making it difficult for businesses to sustain in the volatile market conditions. The virus has not spared any sector; it has already resulted in losses of more than $150 billion in sectors like tourism, airlines and hotel industry.

What is Recession and What Causes It?
A recession can be defined as two back-to-back quarters of negative economic growth which is measured by gross domestic product (GDP).

Real changes and structural shifts are major causes of economic recessions. It may include a sudden rise in oil prices due to a geopolitical crisis. There are different prevalent theories which try to explain causes using monetary factors. Financial factors like overexpansion of credit and financial risk during the good economic times preceding the recession can also lead to recession.

One of the major reason for any economic slowdown is inflation which is defined as a rise in the prices of goods and services over a period of time. The higher the rate of inflation means that a consumer will be able to purchase a lesser quantity of goods with the same amount of money as before.

In such a complex environment businesses are forced to cut down on expenditures which may result in decline of GDP and laying off workers to manage costs. Lay-offs would lead to increasing unemployment which could reduce the purchasing power and hence demand in society. This could lead to a vicious downward spiral. All these combined factors may lead the country into a period of recession.

In the current scenario, there is already an ongoing tussle between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil production which has led to sharp decline in crude oil prices. Further coronavirus is leading to lockdowns across the world with direct negative impact on industrial productivity of most countries. Global markets have been crashing since last month. Investors are not sure of a global slowdown yet but they seem to be preparing for it seeing the global conditions.

Types of Recession
V-shaped recession indicates that the economy suffers a sharp economic decline, but recovers quickly and strongly. It can happen due to increased consumer demand leading to a significant rise in economic activities. Example for such a recession is the 1950s American economy decline which recovered after 12 months.

L-shaped refers to an economic recession where the recovery is characterized by a steep decline in economic growth followed by a slow recovery. It is the most dramatic type of recession and its recovery can take a long time. Such a recovery period can also be called a depression. Example of such a type is the 2008 financial crisis.

Apart from these 2, Economists also categorise recessions as U-shaped, W-shaped depending on the recovery patterns.

History of Recessions
Credit Crisis of 1772
In London, after a period of rapid expansion of credit, Alexander Fordyce, a partner in a large bank, lost a huge sum shorting shares of the East India Company and he fled to France to avoid repayment. It led to more than 20 large banking houses going nearly bankrupt. The crisis also then spread to Europe.

Stock Crash of 1929
On October 24, 1929, share prices collapsed due to drastic oversupply of commodity crops and drought eventually leading to the Great Depression. It is the most severe economic depression which resulted in loss of 90% of stock market value and failing of 11,000 banks. More details in Curiopedia section below.

OPEC Oil Crisis
In October 1973, OPEC members launched an oil embargo targeting countries that backed Israel in the Yom Kippur War and at the end of it, a barrel of oil rose from $3 to $12. Since modern economies depend on oil, the higher prices and uncertainty led to a major stock market crash with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 45% of its value.

Asian Crisis of 1997–1998 
After the collapse of the Thai baht in July 1997 there was a crisis of foreign currency and the Thai government was forced to abandon its U.S. dollar peg and let the baht float. This resulted in huge devaluation that spread to much of East Asia and increasing debt-to-GDP ratios.

The 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis
This was the biggest financial crisis after the Great Depression of 1929. It began with a lending crisis in 2007 which later expanded into a global banking crisis with the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. Huge bailouts and other measures to control the damage failed and the global economy fell into recession as many economists had suggested.

I see more than a 50% chance of the United States going into a recession.

– Alan Greenspan, Former Federal Reserve Chairman (6th April 2008)

On 29 April 2008, Moody’s declared that nine US states were in a recession. In 2008, an estimated 2.6 million U.S. jobs were eliminated and the unemployment rate in the U.S. grew to 8.5% in March 2009. This number reached 5.1 million by March 2009.

The impact in the US was so devastating that it led to 8 million home foreclosures, S&P 500 declined 38.5% in 2008, $7.4  trillion loss in stock wealth which is approximately $66,200 per household and price of the houses dropped by 40%.

In this period the private consumption fell for the first time in nearly 20 years. The depth and severity of the recession were very high. With the consumer confidence being extremely low, the economic recovery took a long time.

Looking Ahead
It is very clear that seeing the ongoing global developments right from coronavirus to oil crisis there is a huge threat looming over the global economy in the coming months. The small businesses are going to be the most impacted with millions of people expected to lose their jobs. In this current scenario of uncertainty, it is now important to think of possible scenarios like what if the virus spreads more broadly with a higher mortality rate or if the outbreak continues in the next year as well then the economic impacts would be much more than anyone would have thought of. The severity of impacts would solely depend on the length and seriousness of the pandemic. It is the need of the hour to study the past data while keeping a close watch on current situations and strategically prepare for tough times ahead.

Curiopedia

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression across nations; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. The Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world’s economy can decline. It started in the United States after a major fall in stock prices that began around September 4, 1929, and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide GDP fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade fell by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 23% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. More Info

Timeline of Yes Bank debacle

In the latest developments in the YES Bank case, after the SBI led bailout plan is in process, the Reserve Bank of India has withdrawn its imposed moratorium on the bank. Normal banking operations will be now restored. Let us have a look at the timeline of the debacle that put Yes Bank in such a position.
Complete Coverage: Yes Bank

Crux of the Matter

Timeline of Debacle
Yes Bank’s stock had hit an all-time high in August 2018 with its market capitalisation crossing one lakh crore mark. However, its stock price began falling as the bank started looking for a new CEO after the RBI refused Rana Kapoor’s extension till 2021 and gave him time only till 31st January 2019.

Concerns started arising after the Chairman Ashok Chawla resigned on 11th January 2019 after his name came in the corruption charge sheet by CBI. This led to downgrading debt instruments of the bank by rating agencies with increasing uncertainty around Rana Kapoor’s successor.

Rana Kapoor stepped down in January 2019 and Ajai Kumar was made the interim CEO until the Head of Deutsche Bank India Ravneet Gill was appointed as the CEO on 1st March 2019.

In February 2019, the RBI reported that the bank’s risk assessment report has multiple lapses with regulatory violations and non-compliance with the SWIFT system. SWIFT is a secure financial messaging service and a SWIFT code is used to identify banks and financial organizations.

Yes Bank’s share prices reduced further when Former CEO Rana Kapoor put his entire 7.34 % stake against a loan. Later, he started selling his shares and took a complete exit from the bank by December 2019.

Fundraising Fallout
In April 2019, the board of the bank approved fundraising of $1 billion as it became highly important to control the losses which had reached Rs.1,507 crores in the fourth quarter of 2018-19. RBI appointed ex-RBI Deputy Governor R. Gandhi as the additional director of Yes Bank’s board with an aim to increase scrutiny of the bank.

Yes Bank reported a 91% drop in first-quarter profit in July 2019 with its gross bad loan ratio at 5.01%. CEO Ravneet Gill announced a deal to sell a minority stake to a tech company to boost its capital. In October 2019, Yes Bank got a binding investment offer of $1.2 billion from the Hong Kong-based global investor SPGP Holdings. Its stock surged by 39% after the news came out.

As the bad loan ratio further deteriorated to 7.39%, the bank reported its biggest loss in November 2019 and it announced its plan to sell shares worth $1.2 billion to Canadian investor Erwin Singh Braich and SPGP Holdings. But in January 2020, Yes Bank rejected Braich’s investment.

CEO Ravneet Gill, in a number of attempts to raise capital, only managed to get $270 million. In February 2020, the bank did not disclose its quarterly report and said it will be delayed by a month as it is in talks with potential investors.

As the deposit base reduced by 34% to Rs.1.37 trillion between 30 September and 5 March, RBI placed Yes Bank under moratorium and took over its board for 30 days with restricted withdrawals up to Rs.50,000 to protect depositors money.

ED’s Investigation
The Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against Former Yes Bank CEO Rana Kapoor and has summoned all major borrowers as part of the investigation into the financial irregularities. ED also raided Kapoor and his daughters’ residence in Mumbai and New Delhi. He was presented in the court on March 16 and his custodial remand was extended till March 20.

ED is investigating loans given to 44 companies belonging to 10 large business groups during the tenure of Rana Kapoor which now accounts for bad debts of Rs.34000 crores. The major borrowers include Subhash Chandra of the Zee Group, Sameer Gehlaut of Indiabulls Group, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, Dheeraj and Kapil Wadhawan of DHFL group and Peter Kerkar of Cox and Kings, Anil Ambani of Reliance Group. They all have been summoned by the ED.

Initial investigation has revealed that about 78 companies owned by Kapoor’s family members were being managed by Rana Kapoor who is being interrogated for laundering funds from YES Bank to these companies. The ED also named his wife Bindu and three daughters as accused in the case.

ED summoned Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan of the DHFL group for a suspicious transaction worth Rs.4300 crores with the Yes Bank. They both are already out on bail in the Iqbal Mirchi case for diverting Rs.12500 crores to 80 shell companies by using 1 lakh fake borrowers. Essel Group has borrowed from Yes Bank Rs.8415 crores through its 16 firms; of that loan, some have turned NPAs.

The Enforcement Directorate has requested Dr. Subhash Chandra’s presence on 18th March 2020, to make a statement on the information which is already available with them. We wish to cite that all credit facilities availed were fully secured. The Group has never made any transactions with Mr.Rana Kapoor or his family.

– Essel Group

Indiabulls Real Estate and Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd had borrowed Rs.5800 crores. According to the India Bulls statement, they have not received any summons from the ED and it has clarified that Indiabulls Housing has no term loans outstanding from Yes Bank. The ED has also summoned Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani who has reportedly borrowed the maximum Rs.12,800 crores from the cash-strapped Yes Bank. DHFL had borrowed Rs 4,735 crore, while Cox & Kings had borrowed Rs 1,050 crore. Cox & Kings has filed for bankruptcy and is in the process of the insolvency and bankruptcy code.

Bailout Plan
Cabinet approved the reconstruction scheme for YES Bank under which eight public and private banks led by State Bank of India will infuse capital into Yes Bank Ltd. The State Bank Of India will buy a 49% stake by investing Rs. 7250 crores and out of which it will have to maintain at least 26% shares for 3 years.

In the first round of funding, ICICI and HDFC Bank will invest Rs. 1000 crores (for 7.97% stake) each in Yes Bank as part of the RBI’s reconstruction plan. Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, RK Damani, Jhunjhunwala and Azim Premji Trust will be putting in Rs. 500 crores each.

RBI also decided to extend a loan of  Rs. 10,000 crores immediately under the special liquidity facility against government securities.

“Authorised capital has been raised to Rs. 6200 crores from Rs. 1100 crores to accommodate the immediate and subsequent increase in capital requirements. The RBI-appointed administrator will also vacate his office within 7 days after the notification and the new board will take full charge. The scheme will protect depositors’ interest, provide stability to YES Bank and a stable financial environment and banking system.”

– Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister
Curiopedia

Rana Kapoor is the founder, and former managing director and CEO of Yes Bank. In February 1995, a team from Rabobank arrived in India, scouting for opportunities. Kapoor, his brother-in-law Ashok Kapur and Harkirat Singh made a proposal to the visiting team for two joint ventures: a non-banking financial company and a bank. During the next year, Kapoor held meetings with the Rabobank executives in India, Singapore and the Netherlands. The NBFC was set up in 1997, with the three Indian partners chipping in with an equity capital of Rs.9 crores each. In 2003, the three sold their stake for $10 million each, generating the seed fund for the bank. In 2003, the team was granted a banking licence by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up Yes Bank. They established Yes Bank with the vision of “Building the Best Quality Bank of the world in India” by 2015. More Info

Heated Debate in Parliament on Delhi Riots

On Delhi riots, amit shah

During the parliamentary discussion on Delhi Communal Riots, Union Home Minister Amit Shah called it a planned conspiracy and assured that all the culprits will be put behind bars regardless of religion, caste or political party.

Crux of the Matter

A detailed SIT investigation is underway of the recent Delhi riots which took 52 lives, injured nearly 520 people and burnt 142 houses. Amit Shah defended the actions by Delhi Police and lauded them for bringing the situation under control in record time. The government firmly believes that the spread of riots on such a big scale in such a short time is not possible without a conspiracy.

49 cases of Arms Act have been registered & 153 arms have been recovered. The police have conducted nearly 650 peace committee meetings since February 25, 2020.

Strict action will be taken irrespective of religion against people who are responsible and it will be an example for the entire country.

– Amit Shah, Union Home Minister

Amit Shah also informed the Lok Sabha that with help of 40 teams, the police have traced around 60 suspicious social media accounts that incited hate. They noted that they were created on 22nd February 2020 and were closed down on 26th February 2020.

Amit Shah denied all claims of the opposition of not taking the riots seriously and said, “the US President’s program was pre-scheduled, it was in my constituency, my visit there was also pre-scheduled. The next day, when the US President visited Delhi, I wasn’t present at any event. The whole time I was sitting with Police officials. I only requested NSA Ajit Doval to visit the area.”

The Congress party staged a walkout after the Home Minister defended the CAA, and launched sharp attacks on hate speeches made by Sharjeel Imama, Tahir Hussain and AIMIM Leader Waris Pathan.

If one doesn’t want to give certain information, no questions will be asked regarding that. There will be no doubtful citizen marking.

– Amit Shah, Union Home Minister

The Ruckus over Facial Identification Software
The parliament witnessed a ruckus when the opposition accused the government of using Aadhar data for face identification of the rioters. According to them, it was a breach of the right to privacy. The Home Minister clarified that the government has used voter ID and driving license databases to screen people through which 1922 people have already been identified.

A Supreme Court lawyer N.S. Nappinai said that the screening of crowds using the public database is illegal in the country as it goes against the concept of innocent until proven guilty. In an RTI query, the Delhi Police had informed that facial recognition software is used under the Identification of Criminals Act. With the Home Minister’s statement, it is now clear that the police are using public databases to screen crowds.

Latest Update on the Police Investigation
The Delhi police have nabbed suspended AAP councilor Tahir Hussain’s brother Shah Alam along with two of his associates in connection with the riots. Tahir Hussain has been accused of murdering a 26-year old Intelligence Bureau officer. Police have arrested a 20-year-old for the murder of 4 people whose bodies were found in the drains in Gokulpuri. Northeast district police arrested 4 men who are accused of vandalizing the Ashok Nagar mosque. The police also arrested 2 suspects linked with ISIS and are probing their potential link with the Popular Front of India (PFI). 3 people were also arrested for financing the violence.

Curiopedia

The 2020 North East Delhi riots were multiple incidents of religiously driven bloodshed, property destruction, and rioting in North East Delhi, beginning on the night of 23 February 2020 and causing the deaths of 53 people; who were shot, slashed with repeated blows or set on fire. Among others killed were a policeman, an intelligence officer. More than a week after the violence ended, hundreds of wounded were languishing in inadequately staffed medical facilities and corpses were being found in open drains. Earlier, in Jaffrabad, in North East Delhi, a sit-in by women against CAA had begun on a stretch of the Seelampur–Jaffrabad–Maujpur road. On 23 February 2020, BJP leader Kapil Mishra demanded that Delhi Police clear the roads occupied by protesters and threatened to forcefully end the protests if the police failed. More Info

IBC Amendments Passed in the Backdrop of Yes Bank Crisis

To streamline the corporate insolvency resolution process, the parliament on March 12 passed amendments to The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill (IBC), 2020. This comes in the backdrop of the crisis that India’s fourth-largest private sector lender, Yes Bank is going through.

Crux of the Matter

IBC Amendment Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on March 12 and by Lok Sabha on March 6. The new law will provide protection to new owners of a loan defaulter company against prosecution for wrongdoings of past owners. The amendment makes compulsory a minimum threshold for homebuyers to initiate insolvency and provide immunity to a corporate debtor from past liabilities once it’s acquired.

The government had brought in an ordinance in December 2019 to make necessary changes. In January 2020, the Supreme Court had ordered status quo on the provisions that restricted power. The Bill amends the Code the effect that a licence, permit, registration, quota, concession, clearances or a similar grant or right will now not be terminated during the moratorium period.

The government is both responsive and is committed to delivering its promises in tune with changing times.

– Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh suggested the government to revisit the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code w.r.t MSME sector to protect their interests. He also highlighted that under the present law, the recovery rate is only 10%. Answering doubts over MSME, the Finance Minister said, “the banks have been asked to pay dues to stakeholders in order to maintain the liquidity.”

Trinamool Congress MP Manas Ranjan Bhunia said, since the passing of the bill in 2016, the government has introduced three ordinances and four amendments for rectification, which shows a lack of knowledge and confusion of the government.”

The statistics suggest that as of 1st January 2020, nearly 15 thousand cases were resolved based on Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code out of around 43 thousand cases.

Curiopedia

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha in December 2015. It was passed by Lok Sabha on 5 May 2016 and by Rajya Sabha on 11 May 2016. The bankruptcy code is a one-stop solution for resolving insolvencies which previously was a long process that did not offer an economically viable arrangement. The code aims to protect the interests of small investors and make the process of doing business less cumbersome. More Info