Operational creditors to Bhushan Power & Steel have sought ministerial intervention to resolve their payment issues as they stare at imminent closure of their units if they don’t get their payments resolved, one of the suppliers has said.
A group of suppliers to the failed power and steel company have met Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha (the state which houses the plant), seeking his intervention as the resolution plan approved by the lenders did not cover their dues, said the person who did not want to be identified.
“We will be forced to close down our businesses… To save one bad loan, bankers are putting the future of 1,500 operational creditors at stake,” said one of the creditors who did not wish to be named.
The bankrupt company owes about 1,700 operational creditors Rs 723 crore. In addition, it owes 1,200 others, who have joined hands against the resolution plan, nearly Rs 600 crore. Most of the dues fall between Rs 10 and Rs 50 lakh while only 149 creditors are owed more than Rs 1 crore.
The creditors said that Tata Steel, whose bid has been accepted by Bhushan Power’s lenders, have presented a resolution plan in which it proposed to club the dues of operational creditors with government dues and pay Rs 100 crore against it. This would constitute only 7 per cent of the outstanding dues compared to the combined dues of Rs 1,480 crore. Many of the operational creditors said there was discrimination between suppliers as far as payments were concerned. They alleged that some companies belonging to associates/friends of the failed promoters were paid disproportionately than what the average operational creditor received in the plan. The Resolution Professional could not be reached for comment.
In a complaint to NCLT, the operational creditors had alleged that claims made by certain creditors were reduced during the insolvency process as some post-dated cheques were honoured. But the IBC rules clearly prohibits making any payment to creditors after the commencement of the insolvency process.
Source: Economic Times, July 11 ,2018