Mallya wants to settle with banks.
By Sreekanth A. Nair
Just a day after the India government moved one more step in the Vijay Mallya case by writing to their UK counterpart for deporting him, the liquor baron has said that he has no plans to return to India and wants a reasonable settlement with banks.
In an interview to Financial Times, Mallya said that he is in a ‘forced exile.’
“We have always been in dialogue with banks saying: ‘We wish to settle’. But we wish to settle at a reasonable number that we can afford and banks can justify on the basis of settlements done before,” Mallya told Financial Times.
He added that Indian banks wouldn’t get any money by arresting him.
“By taking my passport or arresting me, they are not getting any money,” he said.
Mallya, who has offered to pay $882 million to settle the $1.14 billion debt that he owes to Indian banks, wants to make a reasonable settlement.
Mallya said, “we have always been in dialogue with banks saying: ‘We wish to settle’. But we wish to settle at a reasonable number that we can afford and banks can justify on the basis of settlements done before.”
In his opinion, banks were not accepting his offer as the public opinion in India was against him.
“It is important to understand the environment in India today. The electronic media is playing a huge role not just in moulding public opinion but in inflaming the government to a very large extent,” he said.
He claimed that the banks were asking him to pay the inflated amount and “it is grossly unjust to apply compound interest and artificially inflate this figure.”
Mallya also claimed that many banks have settled the debts owed by many companies for 30-40 percent of the book value. They must follow the same principle in his case also. But he thinks that if the banks do so, it will attract huge media criticism and enquiry by Indian agencies.
Mallya, who claims to be “proud to fly the Indian flag,” however, has no plans to return to India and is happier to stay in the UK.