MY LETTER IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF BUSINESS TODAY

MY LETTER IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF BUSINESS TODAY DATED 27TH AUGUST 2017 WITH THE COVER STORY ON INDIA’S COOLEST START UPS

Here is a highly censored version of my letter to the editor on the cover story on 12 defaulters in issue dated Aug 13th 2017. 

Bank Defaulters: No Concrete Results to Show

This refers to your cover story on top defaulters of Banks (Zeroing in on the Dozen, Aug 13). The sad part of our banking system is that things move very slowly and by the time defaulters are brought to book, their assets have dwindled down. It is all talk with no concrete results to show. Take the example of the Kingfisher Airlines. Despite a total debt of more than Rs 9,000 crore to pay to banks, Vijay Mallya has just become the self-proclaimed “poster boy” of defaulters. In a series of tweets, Mallya had offered to negotiate with banks for one-time settlement of dues. He is stated to have said that “public sector banks have policies for one-time settlements. Hundreds of borrowers have settled, also. But our offer was rejected by the banks without consideration”. Though Mallya appears to be offering an olive branch to the banks, the initial reaction from bankers is decidedly guarded. So, stringent action needs to be taken.

J.S. Broca, New Delhi  9TH AUGUST 2017

 

 

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  1. Jatinder Pal Singh Broca says:

    HERE IS WHAT I HAD ACTUALLY WRITTEN TO BUSINESS TODAY

    THE DIRTY DOZEN
    Dear Sir,
    This refers to your interesting cover story titled ZEROING ON THE DOZEN on the top defaulters of the Banks (BT August 13th 2017).Your exposure needs to be appreciated but the sad part of our banking system is that things move very slowly and by the time the defaulters are brought to the book, either they themselves have vanished into thin air or their huge assets have dwindled down to astronomical depths and their elephantine amounts have been cleverly siphoned off and probably parked in tax havens outside the country.
    We keep on hearing mysterious head lines in the media off and on like: NPA Menace–Finance Ministry makes public names of 12 biggest defaulters identified by RBI; 12 big loan defaulters identified by RBI to be disclosed soon; Banks may move NCLT against four of 12 major defaulters etc. Sorry to say that it is all talk with no concrete results to show.
    Take the example of the by now most famous / infamous case of The Kingfisher Airlines of the liquor baron Vijay Mallya. Banks to whom embattled tycoon Vijay Mallya had sometime in March 2017 offered a negotiated one-time settlement of their dues wanted him to spell out how much he is ready to pay up. It is well known that the Banks had previously shot down Mallya’s offer of Rs 6,868 crores in April 2016 to settle the dues that were in excess of Rs 9,000 crores, including interest. These loans were interestingly advanced to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines between the period 2006-2012. We are in 2017 today and there are no visible signs of any significant recovery though the self styled playboy continues to enjoy his reputation as seen from his pictures on the media. He has just become the self proclaimed ‘’ poster boy ‘’ of defaulters and the internet is full of jokes and memes on this defaulter. ( I am enclosing a few samples of hilarity collected from the internet at random. You may share them if you like). I suggest the next cover story on BT must be on Vijay Mallya- what happened, when it happened, where the matter rests today, how the Government plans to recover the dues, so that your readers know the real truth. Will you do that?
    We readers recall that in a series of tweets earlier, Mallya had offered to negotiate with banks for one-time settlement of dues and sought the Supreme Court’s intervention. He is stated to have been brash enough to comment saying that “Public sector banks have policies for one-time settlements. Hundreds of borrowers have settled. Why should this be denied to us? Our substantial offer before the Supreme Court was rejected by banks without consideration”. Incidentally, Mallya’s renewed offer came a day after the consortium of 17 banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) told the apex court that “he had taken it for a ride” and urged the apex court to initiate contempt proceedings against the tycoon for “wilfully” flouting its orders. Though Mallya appears to be offering an olive branch to the banks, the initial reaction from bankers is decidedly guarded. Lets wait may be till 2018/2019/2020 to hear something about the actual recovery in this case.
    Unless stringent action is taken by all the concerned, it is quixotic to merely blowing hot air on dead wind mills!
    J S BROCA
    New Delhi
    30th JULY 2017
    Encl: As above

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