Kingfisher’s woes Mallya’s doing, not aviation industry: Jaitley

Washington, April 16 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley feels the failure of Vijay Mallya-led defunct carrier Kingfisher had more to do with the individual company’s business model than the aviation industry, and that every step is being taken to recover the money it owes to banks.

“The airline’s (Kingfisher’s) problem is not a sectoral problem. This is for the simple reason that most of the other airlines lasted the challenging period, turned around and are now making profits,” Jaitley told reporters here.

“Jet is making profit. Indigo has made huge profits. SpiceJet is making profits. GoAir is making profits,” he said.

“I’m not giving a final opinion. But it could be attributed to the business model of a particular company,” Jaitley said, even as India suspended Mallya’s diplomatic passport for four weeks and the Enforcement Directorate asked a special court to issue non-bailable warrant against him.

The finance minister is here for the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, along with Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian.

Jaitley said his government also had nothing to do with Mallya’s case.

“I don’t think it had anything to do with our. A lot of his cases were also locked up in courts. When he was in India, I understand from the banking sector that almost every recovery and every step was challenged in the courts,” he said.

“As far as recoveries are concerned, in this case, banks are taking all the possible steps. And whether there are violations of some penal provisions, the investigating agencies are looking at it,” Jaitley added.

Mallya is wanted by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of misappropriating Rs.9,000 crore he received as bank loans. He left India on March 2 and tweeted a week later that he is not an absconder.

“On the advise of the Enforcement Directorate, the passport issuing authority in the Ministry of External Affairs has suspended the validity of Mr. Vijay Mallya’s diplomatic passport with immediate effect,” the foreign office spokesperson said in a statement.

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