They won’t get any money by ar­rest­ing me: Vi­jay Mallya

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI/BAN­GA­LORE: Em­bat­tled ty­coon Vi­jay Mallya said on Fri­day he was will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate with cred­i­tors but ar­rest­ing him or re­vok­ing his pass­port won’t help in re­cov­er­ing over Rs9,000 crore he owes banks.

In an in­ter­view to the Fi­nan­cial Times of London, Mallya said he was in “forced ex­ile” and blamed the elec­tronic me­dia for “in­flam­ing” the gov­ern­ment. “By tak­ing my pass­port or ar­rest­ing me, they are not get­ting any money,” the in­dus­tri­al­ist told the Bri­tish news­pa­per. The com­ments come a day af­ter the gov­ern­ment an­nounced it asked the UK to de­port Mallya.

He is fac­ing pro­ceed­ings in the Supreme Court by a con­sor­tium of 17 banks seek­ing re­pay­ment of loans to his now- col­lapsed King­fisher Air­lines. Mallya, who rose to be­come one of In­dia’s most suc­cess­ful and colour­ful busi­ness­man but saw for­tunes turn south last month, told FT he wanted to close a painful chap­ter and that the Rs9,000 crore fig­ure was “in­flated”.

We have al­ways been in di­a­logue with banks... But we wish to set­tle at a rea­son­able num­ber that we can af­ford and banks can jus­tify on the ba­sis of set­tle­ments done be­fore. VI­JAY MALLYA

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