Govt had nothing to do with Mallya’s case, says Jaitley
Finance minister Arun Jaitley sought to distance the government from the controversy concerning Vijay Mallya, a day after the external affairs ministry suspended the former liquor baron’s passport.india Updated: Apr 17, 2016 20:38 IST
Finance minister Arun Jaitley believes Vijay Mallya’s financial troubles regarding his long-defunct Kingfisher Airlines may have been caused by a flawed business model.
“I am not giving a final opinion on it. It could be attributable to the business model of a particular company,” Jaitley told reporters in response to a question about Mallya’s airline.
All other airlines, he added, made it through the bad times faced by the aviation sector some years ago, and they are doing fine now. “Jet is now making profit(s). Indigo has made huge profits throughout. Spice Jet is making profit(s). Go Air is making profit(s).”
Jaitley is in Washington for the annual spring meetings of the World Bank group, and the annual economic and financial dialogue with the US.
Kingfisher Airlines shut down in 2012, leaving more than $2 billion in debt, more than 1,000 employees jobless and unpaid salary of more than Rs 100 crore, according to a media report.
Asked if the government could have anticipated Mallya’s problems, Jaitley said: “I don’t think it had anything to do with the government because of a lot of his cases were locked up in courts. When he was in India, I understand from the banking sector that almost every recovery, every step, was challenged in court.”
Mallya has left India and the external affairs ministry on Thursday suspended his diplomatic passport, which was issued to him as a member of the Rajya Sabha.