Pay dues or face co­er­cive ac­tion, FM tells Mallya

The Financial Express - - COMPANIES -

New Delhi, March 28: In a stern warn­ing to wil­ful de­fault­ers like Vi­jay Mallya, finance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley said they should set­tle their dues hon­ourably with the banks or else be ready to face “co­er­cive ac­tion” by lenders and in­ves­tiga­tive agen­cies.

“I don't want to make any com­ments on in­di­vid­ual cases but I think it’s a re­spon­si­bil­ity of large groups like his (Vi­jay Mallya's) to hon­ourably set­tle their dues with the banks,” he told PTI in an in­ter­view here.

He fur­ther said that banks have cer­tain col­lat­er­als of group com­pa­nies of Vi­jay Mallya and will take le­gal ac­tion to re­cover dues that are in ex­cess of 9,000 crore.

“Banks have some se­cu­ri­ties. Banks plus other agen­cies have also co­er­cive meth­ods avail­able with them through le­gal en­force­ment...these are all be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by rel­e­vant agen­cies,” he said.

Mallya, pro­moter of long­grounded King­fisher Air­lines, had left In­dia on March 2, pre­sum­ably for Lon­don,

Rdays be­fore the Supreme Court heard a plea of clutch of state-owned banks seek­ing re­cov­ery from his group firms.

Mallya and King­fisher Air­lines owed R7,800 crore to a con­sor­tium of 17 lenders led by State Bank, which had an ex­po­sure of over R1,600 crore to the now de­funct air­line.

Other banks that have ex­po­sure to the air­line in­clude Pun­jab Na­tional Bank and IDBI Bank ( R800 crore each), Bank of In­dia ( R650 crore), Bank of Bar­oda ( R550 crore), Cen­tral Bank of In­dia ( R410 crore).

The min­is­ter said the gov­ern­ment has been try­ing to ad­dress the prob­lem of NPAs in sec­tors such as steel, tex­tile, high­ways and in­fra­struc­ture, which are on ac­count of eco­nomic slow­down. PTI

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