Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on a nine-day visit to the US, chose to largely stay mum on the controversy surrounding Lalit Modi raging back home but said the tainted former IPL chief’s Rs. 11 crore transaction with BJP leader Dushyant Singh was a “commercial” one.
“I do not want to comment on him (Modi), but it’s a commercial transaction between two individuals,” Jaitley said in response to a question.
The Minister was asked: “What is the government doing on the transaction of Rs 11 crore between Lalit Modi and Dushyant Singh?”
Jaitley responded: “How the government could be concerned with a several year old loan transaction between… Which is a commercial loan transaction by check with all banking approvals in a declared loan transaction.”
Singh, son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, has been under attack over media reports that his company received Rs. 11.63 crore in investments from Modi in 2008.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Raje have been facing flak for “helping” Modi in procuring travel documents in the UK, a country which he has made his home to avoid legal processes in India.
Modi, 49, travelled to London in 2010 after the Indian Premier League (IPL) became embroiled in allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting.