SBI confirms Kingfisher offer to pay up

Mumbai/New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) The State Bank of India (SBI)-led consortium of banks on Wednesday confirmed an offer to settle dues from defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.

“The bank along with other consortium members will examine the same (offer),” the state-run SBI said in a terse one paragraph statement in Mumbai.

The bank, however, did not mention the terms of the offer or the amount the debt-ridden airline has proposed to pay.

Earlier in the day, Kingfisher chairman Vijay Mallya told the Supreme Court through his counsel that he had offered to pay Rs.4,000 crore to settle outstanding dues against the grounded airline.

Mallya, who is out of the country since March 2, also told the apex court that he had offered another Rs.2,000 crore he expected to get if he would win a law suit against US multinational General Electric.

Mallya’s counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan told Justice Kurien Joseph and Justice R.F. Nariman that his client (Mallya) had made the proposal to settle the dues to the SBI chief general manager early on Wednesday (through video conference).

The banks’ consortium’s counsel S.S. Naganand told the division bench that the SBI needed a week’s time to consider Mallya’s proposal to settle the dues.

Accepting the plea, the bench gave the consortium a week to respond and posted the next hearing to April 7.

Mallya and the airline jointly owe Rs.7,800 crore to the consortium, including Rs.1,600 crore to the SBI.

The SBI and Punjab National Bank had declared Mallya, the airline and his holding firm (United Breweries Holdings Ltd) as ‘wilful defaulters’ in 2015.

Besides SBI, other banks that gave loans to Kingfisher include State Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Mysore, Axis Bank, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, UCO Bank and United Bank of India.

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