New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday declined to say whether his government considered industrialist Vijay Mallya an absconder but asserted that every penny the liquor baron owes state-run banks will be recovered.
Mallya owes Rs 9,000 crores to 17 banks, most of them in the state sector. The finance minister said every agency in India, whether it is an enforcement agency or an investigative one, is on the job to recover the debt Mallya owes.
"The facts are very clear: Every government agency will take strong action against him. Banks will go all out to recover every single penny," Jaitley said about Mallya who left the country earlier this month amid charges of wilful default on bank loans worth thousands of crores.
Even as Jaitley was speaking, a consortium led by the State Bank of India was preparing to auction of Mallya's Kingfisher House in Mumbai, to recover at least part of the the nearly Rs.7,000 crore debt due from the now grounded Kingfisher Airlines.