As the heat turns on liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who fled the country on March 2, State Bank of India (SBI) — the lead lender to the now-defunct airline — said that it could not get hold of the Kingfisher Villa in Goa despite all-out efforts.
Mallya, who is being chased by banks, government, and now the courts, should declare his assets under oath, the lender said. “Mallya should tell us about his assets and then we can settle,” SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told NDTV in an interview Mallya, the promoter of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), defaulted on loans worth Rs 7,000 crore, of which SBI’s exposure is around Rs 1,600 crore.
“Even in respect of one particular villa (in Goa), which we were trying to get possession of... in spite of the fact that the high court had passed an order that it should be done in three months, the order was given to the collector... he held eight hearings and then went on leave,” Bhattacharya said. “Normally, collectors are supposed to take possession and not hold hearings, but this person held eight hearings and we are still not in possession of it though we are trying very hard.”
SBI, which leads a consortium of 17 lenders to KFA, declared Mallya wilful defaulter last month. Besides SBI, United Bank of India (UBI) and Punjab national Bank (PNB) have also declared Mallya as wilful defaulter.
Three days ago, a Debt Recovery Tribunal ruled that Mallya will not be able to access the exit package of $75 million (Rs 515 crore) from UK’s Diageo until the KFA loan default case is closed.
Gross NPAs of public sector banks increased from 5.43% of total advances as on March 2015 to 7.30% as on December 2015.