‘Repaid loans for 40 years, not right to call him fraud’: Gatkari on Mallya

It was “not right” to call someone a “fraud” who had repaid loans for 40 years but defaulted once he entered the aviation sector and ran into problems, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Vijay Mallya.

Speaking at the Times Network-organised India Economic Conclave in Mumbai, he said “I have nothing to do with Vijay Mallya, Mallya’s was a prime account for 40 years when he repaid loans regularly. He entered the aviation sector and ran into problems. So does that make him a thief? He defaulted once, and he turned to be a fraud? This mindset is not right.”

Gadkari was referring to a loan from the Maharashtra government-owned entity Sicom to Mallya, extended 40 years ago, which he repaid on time without any default. Stating that ups and downs are part and parcel of any business, he said that if someone goes through a downward cycle, then he or she has to be supported.

While talking about Nivav Modi, he asserted that: As far as Nirav Modi is concerned, if he is a fraud, he should be sent to jail. If Mallyaji has given some fraud paper or done anything wrong, he should also be sent, there is no problem. But if we stamp every person who runs into problems as fraud, our economy will not go forward.”