THE fleeing of Vijay Mallya to London generated storm in Parliament on Thursday (March 10) with Congress alleging “criminal conspiracy” saying the businessman was allowed to escape by the government, which hit back insisting that the loans were given to him during UPA rule and he is “no saint for us”.
“There have been clear instructions that every possible action should be pursued” to recover the money from Mallya who owes Rs 9091 crore to a consortium of banks led by SBI as of November 2015, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Lok Sabha.
As Congress alleged that Mallya escaped despite ‘Look Out Notice” by the CBI, Jaitley said: “That day, there was no order of any agency to stop him (from leaving the country)”. He said Mallya had left the country before the banks moved the Supreme Court for seizure of his passport.
When the issue was raised in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Mallya is “no saint for us” and he has “not been given a single penny” by the NDA Government.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said it was shocking that the UB group chairman, owing some Rs 10,000 crore dues to SBI led consortium of banks, fled to London on March two. He claimed that inspite of warning by the SBI law officer, no action was taken against the businessman.
Congress, NCP and Left parties staged a walkout alleging that the government’s response was not satisfactory and does not answer the points raised by them.
Mounting the attack in Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “My allegation is that this government is party to this criminal conspiracy of allowing him to escape and leave the country. In this criminal conspiracy, this Government should be made party and the Supreme Court should take note of this.”
He claimed that “without the participation and without the active support of this government”, Mallya could not have left the country and added he should not be allowed to become “the second Lalit Modi”.
Countering charges by Azad, Jaitley said the banks have been asked to recover “every penny that is due”, adding that the first banking facility was given to Mallya and his firms in September 2004 which were renewed in February 2008.
He further said the accounts were declared non-performing assets (NPA) on April 30, 2009 and these debts were restructured and more facilites extened in December 2010.
“In what circumstances were the loans given is an issue of investigation and the CBI is investigating,” he said.
“How these accounts were running, what facilities were given, the dates tell their own story,” Jaitley said, adding “when the loans were given, how they were given…introspection will be required.”