Vijay Mallya, chairman of the financially crippled Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), donated gold bricks weighing 3kg at Lord Venkateswara’s shrine in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday on the occasion of his 58th birthday, according to PTI.
Three kilograms of gold is worth approximately R1 crore.
Mallya’s spokesman offered no immediate comment or confirmation when HT contacted him.
Kingfisher owes banks an estimated Rs. 7,500 crore and most of its employees have not been paid their salaries since May.
The airline, said to be the liquor baron’s gift to his son Siddharth on his turning 18, has not made a profit since its inception in 2005. Mallya has been struggling to get a foreign investor on board while tax authorities and bankers are pressuring his airline to clear dues.
The KFA chairman has reportedly been trying to rope in a foreign airlines as a partner in Kingfisher. He has acquired antique swords, relics, and also owns a Formula One motor racing team and an IPL team.