Banks Recover 13,100 Crores From Fraudsters Mallya, Nirav, Mehul

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stated that the banks have recovered a sum of 13,109.17 Crores from fugitives like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi. The recovery was possible through the sale of their assets. 

She said this while replying to a discussion on the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants which was approved by the Lok Sabha amid uproar by the Opposition over various issues.

The Supplementary Demands for Grants authorized the government to spend an additional ₹3.73 lakh crore during the current fiscal.

The extra spending includes an infusion of over ₹62,000 crores into the company that holds residual assets and liabilities of Air India, ₹58,430 crores by way of additional fertilizer subsidy, ₹53,123 crores towards payment of pending export incentives, and ₹22,039 crores to rural development ministry for transfer to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Fund.

Speaking on the banks’ recovery from wilful defaulters, she said that a total of ₹13,109.17 crores has been recovered from the asset sales of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi as of July 2021 as per the information provided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The latest recovery was ₹792 crore from the sale of assets belonging to Mallya and others on July 16, 2021, she added.

Responding to various issues, including price rise, raised by the Opposition during the debate, she said the government is taking measures to cool down prices of edible oil and other essential commodities.

“We are taking measures through the EGOM (Empowered Group of Ministers) for taking care of essential goods. We will attend to the problem of edible oil price and also some of the essential edible items,” she said.

“Public sector banks together have effected a recovery of about ₹5.49 lakh crore over the last seven financial years. So, these people who are defaulters, who have fled the country, we have got their money back and put it to the public sector banks and therefore the banks are safer today,” she said.

She now said that the money of depositors is safe in public sector banks. 

Speaking about the state’s financial position the Finance Minister said that in the first eight months of the fiscal the Centre has already transferred 86.4 percent of what was provided in the full year 2019-20.

From the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), “funds are being provided and providing an extra ₹15,000 crores for emergency COVID-19 response. The financial position of the states is also reflected in the fact that the overall cash balance of states as on November 30, 2021, was ₹3.08 lakh crore approximately, fairly comfortable positions”, she said.

She further said that the states are having a substantial cash balance with them and there are only a few exceptions

Out of 28 states, she said, only two states are having negative cash balances.

Quoting former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said, “I would like the nation to remember that issuing bonds and loading deficits on oil companies is not a permanent solution to this problem. We are only passing our burden to our children who will have to repay this debt.”

As per the Supplementary Demands for Grants, there would be net cash outgo of over ₹2.99 lakh crore, and ₹74,517 crores extra expenditure would be matched by savings by different ministries.

As per the document, ₹62,057 crores would be given to the Civil Aviation Ministry for equity infusion in Air India Assets Holding Company (AIAHL) for repayment of past government guaranteed borrowing and past dues/liabilities of Air India.

As per the supplementary demands for grants, an additional ₹2,628 crore would be given towards loans and advances to Air India for recoupment of advance from the Contingency Fund of India.

Talking about Supplementary Demands for Grants, Sitharaman said that additional expenditure is ₹3.73 lakh crore.

Of which, she said, ₹2.99 lakh crore is the additional cash outgo because of big-ticket expenditure going for Air India and rise in fertilizer subsidy due to firming up of global prices.

“We have to ensure that the farmers don’t suffer because of it (rise in global prices). And therefore, an increase in the fertilizer subsidy has been provided, which itself is accounting for ₹58,431 crores,” she said.

Sitharaman also said that the government has so far paid around ₹93,685 crore since 2014 for oil bonds.

The government will have to pay till 2026 when oil bonds mature, she said.

Besides, the Department of Food and Public Distribution would be given an additional ₹49,805 crores for meeting expenditure towards various schemes of food storage and warehousing.

About ₹2,400 crores would be given to the Department of Commerce for meeting expenditure towards subsidies under the ‘Interest Equalization Scheme’, and Investment under the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) scheme, among others.

Another over ₹5,000 crores and over ₹4,000 crores have been earmarked for additional spending by the ministries of Defence and Home, respectively.

The 2021-22 Budget had projected the government’s total expenditure at ₹34.83 lakh crore. But this is expected to overshoot considering the two batches of supplementary demands for grants presented by the government so far.

The government had in August received Parliament nod for net additional spending of ₹23,675 crores in the first batch of supplementary demands for grants.

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