Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday warned wilful defaulters like Vijay Mallya to be prepared for stern action by government.
Jaitley said that defaulters must 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,” said the Finance Minister.
The Finance Minister also said that banks will take legal action to recover dues that are in excess of Rs 9,000 crore.
“Banks have some securities. Banks plus other agencies have also coercive methods available with them through legal enforcement. All these are being investigated by relevant agencies,” he said.
Vijay Mallya had left India on March 2, presumably for London, days before the Supreme Court heard a plea of clutch of state-owned banks seeking recovery from his group firms.
The promoter of long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines, Mallya owed Rs 7,800 crore to a consortium of 17 lenders led by State Bank, which had an exposure of over Rs 1,600 crore to the now defunct airline.
Apart from SBI, Punjab National Bank and IDBI Bank have Rs 800 crore dues, Bank of India ha sRs 650 crore, Bank of Baroda Rs 550 crore and Central Bank of India has Rs 410 crore due.
UCO Bank has to recover Rs 320 crore, Corporation Bank (Rs 310 crore), State Bank of Mysore, (Rs 150 crore), Indian Overseas Bank (Rs 140 crore), Federal Bank (Rs 90 crore), Punjab & Sind Bank (Rs 60 crore) and Axis Bank (Rs 50 crore).
The Finance 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.
“I have always said that there are two kinds of NPAs. One is because of economic environment, the losses in certain categories of industry. Now those areas we are trying to address,” he said.
(with inputs from PTI)