Gadkari on 'Mallyaji': Unfair to call a one-time loan defaulter a 'chor' – Times of India

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Gadkari on 'Mallyaji': Unfair to call a one-time loan defaulter a 'chor' – Times of India

MUMBAI: Union minister Nitin

Gadkari

“The one-time loan defaulter Vijay Mallyaji” as a “chor” (thief), adding that the embattled businessman has a four-decade-long track record of timely debt servicing.

Gadkari

, however, clarified that he has no business dealing with Mallya, who faces extradition from the UK for alleged bank fraud and

money laundering

amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore

“40 times Mallya used to pay regular payment, byaaj bhar raha tha. 40 years ago when the airplane went to me … why did I have to go to a place where I got it? … what are you going to do? I do not think it’s a mistake, but … I’m afraid it’s been a fraud, but I do not think it’s good. ”

After entering the aviation sector, he started facing problems, and suddenly he became a thief? If a person repays the interest for 50 years, and if he defaults once, then suddenly everything is fraud? This is the mindset is not correct),

Gadkari

said at an economic summit

the Times Group

.

Gadkari

said the loan

Maharashtra

government-owned entity Sicom to Mallya, extended 40 years ago, which he repaid on time without any default.

Stating that ups and downs are part and parcel of any business, the road transport minister said if someone goes through a downward cycle, then he or she has to be supported.

“There are risks in the business, be it banking or insurance, but there are ups and downs. But, if the mistakes are true, because of global or internal factors in the economy like a recession, then the person who is facing difficulties must be given support, “the minister said.

Likening an election loss to a business failure, he recalled how he lost an election when he was all of 26, but underlined that the loss did not mean that his political career ended.

“If Nirav Modi or Vijay Mallyaji has committed (financial) fraud then send them to jail, but whoever comes in distress, and if we label them as fraudster then our economy is progressing,” he said.

Earlier this week, a London court had ordered Mallya’s extradition, in a major boost to the fugitive businessman.

Ahead of the extradition hearing, the 62-year-old former boss of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines offered to repay the entire amount.

Gadkari

has been asked for a more considerate and realistic approach to NPAs, and indirectly blamed the bankers for the NPA mess, saying our banking system is such that it does not support sick companies

“When someone is serious then we put him in an ICU, but our banking system first puts a sick company in the ICU and then ensures that it dies,” he quipped.

Last month,

Gadkari

has blamed the RBI for “complicating” project finance, saying over 150 projects involving over Rs 2 trillion investments are struggling to get financial closure.

“Unfortunately, many times … the circulars issued by the RBI are creating more problems and this is one of the reasons why I am facing problems as far as financial closure is concerned,”

Gadkari

had said

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