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India seeks extradition of Mallya

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Vijay Mallya

The Ministry of External Affairs has written to the British High Commission seeking the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya

The move comes days after the ministry revoked the diplomatic passport of Mallya after he failed to turn up for a probe into a Rs.9,000 crore default of loans from Indian banks. Mallya is currently in Britain.

In another development,  Indian parliament’s consultative committee attached to the finance ministry suggested a list of all defaulters, whose loans have been written off, be made public and asked for exemplary action against wilful defaulters.

These were among the suggestions made at a meeting of the parliamentary committee here with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior officials of the ministry to discuss the non-performing assets, or bad loans, of public sector banks (PSBs), a finance ministry statement said.

“Some members suggested that a committee be constituted to finalise recovery process in case of loans given to big corporate houses by various PSBs,” it said.

Making his opening remarks, Jaitley said there are two categories of defaulters — those who are unable to pay back due to economic slowdown, as well as those who are wilful defaulters, including loans sanctioned without due diligence by the banks — and that the government has taken various measures to deal with both these categories, the statement added.

Jaitley also noted that the government had taken various measures to revive the stressed sectors — mainly steel, textiles, power and roads — besides providing Rs.25,000 crore each in the budgets for the last and current fiscals for recapitalising of banks.

In its report on Asia-Pacific sovereigns released on Wednesday, American credit ratings agency Moody’s cautioned that a prolonged worsening in asset quality at state-run banks is the main threat to India’s sovereign credit profile and suggested the government provide for higher recapitalisation of stressed banks.

“The main threat to the sovereign credit profile would be via a significant and prolonged worsening in asset quality at state-owned banks, beyond the recognition of bad loans currently under way, that causes contingent liabilities to crystallise on the government’s balance sheet,” it said.

Meanwhile, a consortium of 13 banks led by the State Bank of India on Monday told the Supreme Court that from the non-disclosure of assets by beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya, it was not possible to assess his capacity to pay their outstanding dues to the tune of more than Rs.9,000 crore advanced to his now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines.