MUMBAI: In a fresh twist to the ongoing Bhushan Steel Ltd’s insolvency resolution process, Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) on Thursday moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking ‘higher priority’ in getting its dues from debt-ridden firm.Bhushan Steel owes nearly Rs 900 crore to L&T for supply of goods. The engineering and construction company had won a Rs 1,205-crore contract from Bhushan Steel for construction related work at the latter’s Odisha plant in September, 2007.
L&T’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi asked NCLT to declare it as a ‘secured creditor,’ rather than an ‘operational creditor’ under the IBC, to move up the priority ladder.A 3-member bench presided by chairperson M M Kumar directed Vijaykumar V Iyer, Bhushan Steel’s Insolvency Resolution Professional to reply to L&T’s plea within a week. The matter would be heard next on March, 23.
Bhushan Steel is one of the 12 large NPAs identified by RBI in June, 2017 for resolution process and owes Rs 44,400 crore to a consortium of creditors led by SBI. The insolvency resolution process is currently underway with the NCLT admitting the case in July, 2017. The resolution period for Bhushan Steel would end on April, 22 after NCLT granted a 90-day extension beyond the initial mandate of 180 days to the committee of creditors in December, 2017.L&T’s move comes a day after Tata Steel said it was identified as the highest bidder for acquiring the controlling stake in Bhushan Steel.