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The government will introduce 24 bills in the hectic month-long monsoon session of Parliament starting on Monday, seeking to reform the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the Competition Act, mining regulations, and the special economic zones regime.

The Competition (Amendment) Bill seeks to bring changes in the governing structure of the Competition Commission of India and modify the substantive provisions to address the needs of new age markets, according to the schedule of legislative business.

The IBC (Amendment) Bill seeks to introduce provisions on cross-border insolvency and other changes needed for time-bound resolution of stressed assets while maximising their value.

Among other key legislation are the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, the Development of Enterprise and Service Hubs (DESH) Bill to overhaul special economic zones and the Multistate Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill meant to professionalise these societies and to protect the interest of depositors.

The amendments to the IBC seek to facilitate more effective rescue of businesses with assets and liabilities across different countries, allowing overseas lenders to Indian businesses to participate in bankruptcy action in courts here and enabling domestic lenders to recover overseas assets of defaulters.

A government official said the idea is to enable quick turnaround of distressed businesses and to address the concerns of a parliamentary panel that had last year flagged the deep haircuts taken by some of lenders.

The revamp of the Competition Act aims to check anti-competitive practices in the digital economy, a sector that has seen intense litigation and regulatory scrutiny as traditional brick-and-mortar traders question the business practices of new age firms, including deep discounts.

The monsoon session, which lasts four weeks, is packed with a hectic legislative agenda and comes at a time the government is facing stiff economic challenges including high inflation and depreciation of the rupee.

“The proposed amendment to the Competition Act is the first major amendment to the law aimed at making the competition framework function efficiently. The proposals benefited from the Competition Law Review Committee report of 2019 and it would be good for all stakeholders if the provisions are debated at length in Parliament," said Pallavi Shroff, managing partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, who was also a member of that panel.

Amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act seek to attract more investments in the mining sector and to help achieve self-reliance in several minerals through a phased boost in production. One of the changes proposed is removal of lithium-bearing minerals, a key raw material for batteries, from the restricted list of atomic minerals.

gireesh.p@livemint.com

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