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I've become 'Poster Boy' of Bank default: Mallya

London (United Kingdom), June 26 : Breaking silence over the controversy surrounding him of defaulting on bank loans to the tune of Rs 9000 crores, liquor baron Vijay Mallya claimed that he had been falsely framed as the "poster boy of Bank default and a lightning rod of public anger".

Mallya also said that the reason behind making the letter public, which he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Arun Jaitley in April 15, 2016, is to set things in the right perspective.

However, according to him, he did not receive any response from either of them.
He said, "After a long period of silence, I feel the time has now come for me to state the factual position in response to the controversy, unfortunately, surrounding me. I have been accused by politicians and the media alike of having stolen and run away with Rs 9,000 crores that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Some of the lending Banks have also labelled me a wilful defaulter."

"The the Consortium of 17 Banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) made various loans to Kingfisher Airlines of approximately Rs. 5,500 crores. Recoveries in excess of Rs. 600 crores have since been made through the sale of pledged assets and a further Rs. 1,280 crores has been lying deposited with the Hon'ble Karnataka High Court since 2013 (aggregating to in excess of Rs. 1,880 crores)," he said, stating the "facts".

He also claimed that all loans, "at all times", were duly approved at the appropriate levels and by the appropriate departments of each Bank.

"Sadly, after the failure of KFA due to circumstances beyond its control, the Consortium of Banks filed proceedings before the Debt Recovery Tribunal for recovery of a Principal amount of approximately Rs. 5,000 crores plus unapplied interest of approximately Rs. 1,200 crores totalling approximately Rs. 6,200 crores. It is important to note that the Principal amount involved remains at approximately Rs. 5,000 crores (less the recoveries made from sale of properties and other recoveries made by the Recovery Officer, DRT) as against the various inaccurate amounts appearing in the media," Mallya said.

On the issue of willful default, he said, "I made two settlement offers to the Banks when proceedings were filed by them in the Honourable Supreme Court of India on 29th March 2016 and 6th April 2016. Against the then outstanding Principal amount of approximately Rs. 5,000 crores, my first offer was for Rs 4,000 crores (plus the assignment of a claim in a pending suit of approximately Rs. 2,000 crores), which was subsequently revised to Rs 4,400 crores (plus the assignment of the claim in the pending suit of approximately Rs. 2,000 crores)."

"Both offers were rejected by the Banks - the second revised offer was rejected outright by a junior SBI officer present in Court without reference to any of the other Banks," he said.
He also claimed to have written letters to the Chairperson of SBI on May 10, 2016, June 2, 2016, and June 10, 2016, seeking settlement discussions.

"I respectfully submit that my conduct does not amount to "wilful default," he said.

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