Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Tuesday sought financial assistance from the government as crisis enveloped the economy after a countrywide lockdown put a lid on all business activities. The embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, on Tuesday asked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to consider his repeated “offer to repay 100 per cent” of the amount borrowed by now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, in this time of coronavirus pandemic.
Mallya, who is wanted in India on alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 9,000 crore, also said all his companies have effectively ceased operations and manufacturing following the lockdown in India.
“I have made repeated offers to pay 100 per cent of the amount borrowed by KFA to the Banks. Neither are Banks willing to take money and neither is the ED willing to release their attachments which they did at the behest of the Banks. I wish the FM would listen in this time of crisis,” Mallya said in a series of tweets.
India submitted an extradition request to the United Kingdom in February 2017 after Mallya made his self-imposed exile clear. In July, the United Kingdom High Court allowed him to challenge his extradition order.
On January 1, 2020, a court in Mumbai allowed the banks to utilise Mallya’s movable assets to recover the money they are owed. On January 6, the Supreme Court said Mallya cannot cite the pendency of his plea in the top court to delay insolvency proceedings in courts “anywhere else in the world”.
Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an economic bailout package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore to help the poor tide over the impact of the countrywide lockdown. The benefits – through cash and food – were targeted at farmers, migrant workers, the poor, women and the disabled, among others.
As the country entered the seventh day of the lockdown on Tuesday, India reported its sharpest spike in the number of the coronavirus cases as 227 people tested positive in 24 hours, taking the country’s total to 1,251 with 32 deaths. Kerala has the highest number of positive cases at 202, followed by Maharashtra at 198. Delhi recorded 87 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 82 positive cases were reported from Uttar Pradesh.