MINUTES OF THE 3RD GENERAL BODY MEETING HELD AT HARI CHAMBERS, MUMBAI, ON 7TH AUGUST, 2019.
The 3rd General Body Meeting of the National Borrowers’ Association (NBA) was co-chaired by Shri Sunil Gupta, alumni of IIT, Powai, Mumbai, and Shri Mathews J. Nedumpara, President of National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms, Mumbai. A large number of borrowers, many of whose very residential homes were dispossessed without due process of law upon orders of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate/District Magistrate on applications under Section 14 of the SARFAESI Act, narrated the great injustice done to them. Shri Sukumar Shah, a septuagenarian and pioneer in the business of PP Woven sacks/ jumbo bags, long time President of Wada Industries Association and the Vice President of NBA, narrated at great length the injustice, tyranny and the harassment caused to the entrepreneurs, the real nation builders, by virtue of the SARFAESI Act, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the taxation laws.
Ms. Meghna Gautam, General Secretary of ETAA and NBA, Shri Jagdish Singh Bhatti, Shri Dhanesh P. Jain, Vice President of NBA and Managing Director of Rototex Ltd., and Shri Pradeep Bablani, Chartered Accountant, also spoke, emphasizing the need for greater reforms in the banking laws. The following were felt to be the emergent reforms required to be brought in:-
a) Provide for an opportunity to a borrower to present his case before his account is classified NPA within the Bank and Financial Institution who could act fairly and evince the confidence of the borrower.
b) Compulsory restructuring of an account before its classification as NPA unless restructuring is wholly unworkable.
c) Amendment of Section 14 of the SARFAESI Act making it obligatory to hear the borrower/tenant before a Magistrate passes an order to take forcible possession of a secured asset.
d) Amendment of the SARFAESI Act excluding residential homes from the purview of the said Act; at any rate, extend the period of notice as against home loans from 60 days to 6 months.
e) Requisite amendments in the SARFAESI Act and the MSME Act to exclude MSMEs from the purview of the SARFAESI Act.
f) Enactment of a law providing for adequate mechanism for a just and fair declaration of a borrower as a “wilful defaulter” so that genuine defaulters are protected from being branded as a “wilful” defaulter.
g) Regulation of the affairs of CIBIL and other credit rating agencies by bringing appropriate legislation.
h) Amendment of the SARFAESI Act to expressly provide for maintenance of status quo ante or protection of vinculum juris till the S.A. is finally decided within the time frame of three months as provided by the statute and insist upon the pre-deposit against protection from dispossession only if the borrower is willfully delaying the adjudication of the appeal before the DRT against the order of the Authorized Officer.
i) Amendment of the SARFAESI Act to expressly provide that Civil Court’s jurisdiction is barred only with respect to matters for which an alternate forum is expressly provided.
j) Amendment of the SARFAESI Act and other legislations to make it expressly clear that a guarantor can be proceeded against only if recovery from the principal debtor is difficult and after exhausting the recovery measures against the properties of the principal debtor.
It has been decided to prefer a memorandum to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Minister in charge of Commerce and Industry, particularly of small scale industries, the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra and other high dignitaries and statutory authorities urging them to take emergent steps to bring in the aforesaid reforms; and for that purpose to seek audience of the aforesaid Hon’ble Ministers and authorities.
It has been further decided that a delegation of the NBA shall camp at New Delhi between 26th and 30th of August, 2019 to meet the Hon’ble Ministers and other dignitaries.
Besides the large number of entrepreneurs, who are victims of the SARFAESI Act, IBA Code and other similar draconian legislations, the following office bearers of NBA were present:
1) Shri Sunil Gupta, alumni of IIT, Powai, Mumbai,
2) Shri Mathews J. Nedumpara, President of National Lawyers’ Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms, Mumbai,
3) Shri Sukumar Shah, a septuagenarian and pioneer in the business of PP Woven sacks/ jumbo bags, long time President of Wada Industries Association and the Vice President of NBA,
4) Ms. Meghna Gautam, General Secretary of ETAA & NBA,
5) Shri Jagdish Singh Bhatti, Shri Dhanesh P. Jain, Vice President of NBA and Managing Director of Rototex Ltd.,
6) Shri Pradeep Bablani, Chartered Accountant.
With warm regards,
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