Saturday, September 18, 2021
HomeOpinionDiaryDo not spare Mallya and defaulting companies

Do not spare Mallya and defaulting companies

So finally industrialist Vijay Mallya has managed to leave India as he feared that he might be imprisoned like Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy.

Mallya was so thick skinned that he failed to pay salary arrears of his employees and repay small time creditors. The liquor baron left them in the lurch–despite having huge amount of assets and cash and he himself is leading a lavish lifestyle. Shame on him and the so called ‘industrialists’ who don’t even care for the employees and deprive them of their legitimate dues and putting them into misery even during emergencies.

This Vijay Mallya bankruptcy episode is a strong lesson for banks and financial institutions. How come these banks kept on lending money and offer credit facilities to Mallya for years? At no point of time did they check his financial records, deny loans to him and say enough is enough? Why did they not encash the bank guarantees provided by him (or did they?) and take possession of the mortgaged properties? In fact at some point–say a couple of years ago when Mallya had started defaulting on repayment he should have been pulled up and put behind bars like Subrata Roy.

Banks should check the credentials of each and every company –whether conglomerate, large, or medium, or small companies — indulging in regular default of loans and misuse of credit facilities. Several companies exist in the Indian corporate world which not only default in such payments to banks but also do not pay statutory dues like sales/services taxes, provident fund, IT and TDS payments etc. Apart from these, even small companies take their employees/ex-employees for granted by unduly delaying or even depriving them of their legitimate dues.

Arnab Goswami had launched a relentless crusade against Vijay Mallya and exposed several irregularities. He even got the ex-employees of Kingfisher airlines on board to shed their grievances on the news channel. It’s time for such concerned channels to have an exclusive story on companies of the “repute” of UB Group, and expose about their misdeeds and on how they ill-treat the employees, creditors, investors and so on. Only then there will be control on fiscal discipline and value to the trust reposed by employees on their companies.

So, what next in the Vijay Mallya case? As per reports the value of his assets and properties abroad are much more than the liability he faces. If so, the Court should issue order to release a “red Corner” notice against him. Mallya should be deported to India and he should be put behind bars and face the trial. Meanwhile, a liquidator must be appointed to auction Mallya’s assets, the proceeds of which must be used to repay the amounts due to banks, statutory bodies, government, creditors, investors and above all the employees. It’s also heartening to note that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also issued a stern statement that such defaulters will not be spared. So will the government take immediate steps to book this notorious culprit and also initiate actions against all the defaulting companies, on a regular basis? Only then we can hope for the Indian economy to fare better and shine!

 

S. Krishna Kumar

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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