Business Tycoon and founder of defunct Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya, has found a unlikely support in form of former Infosys CFO, TV Mohandas Pai.
Though Pai has not in any way said that Mallya is innocent, he did question why no one was talking about Air India, its losses and recovery.
“Air India has lost about Rs 30,000 crore. Why don’t you hold the people who manage (it) accountable for Air India losses like you hold Vijay Mallya (accountable for losses in Kingfisher Airlines)? What is the difference between Vijay Mallya who lost Rs 10,000 crore and Air India which lost Rs 30,000 crore? Bank money is lost (in case of KFA) and public taxpayer’s money is lost (in AI’s case).”
Pai then went on call media and politicians hypocrites and said both Mallya and AI are equally wrong:
“Everybody is going after Vijay Mallya. (But) a government entity making (AI) losses is okay…is it? Parliament is sitting quietly and does not talk about it. Media will sit quietly and nobody will talk about it…holding nobody accountable. What is this? It’s hypocrisy. Both are of the same character and both are wrong.”
Pai, advised the government not to arrest Mallya and rather make him settle his dues as ‘it’s in his interest and government’s interest to settle.’
Pai pointed out that taking this case to money laundering charges will take it at a different level, and is “unnecessary not good for anybody.”
He did note that the biggest problem in India is the lack of a bankruptcy code or a loan recovery system which is fast. He went on to add that businessmen having outstanding loans love banks going to courts because that prolongs the case for 10-15 years without any resolution.
But he advised Mallya to come back to India and strike a deal with banks by paying back as much as possible as ‘the whole country is against him now and he can’t fight the whole country for what he has done.’
“…People understand business loss, they would get angry, (but) if you lead a luxurious life, flaunt your wealth when you have not paid your employees, banks…”
Mallya, at present is facing legal proceedings for alleged loan defaults of over Rs 9,000 crore. Things only got worse for him when had left India on March 2 kicking up a row and has now been summoned by ED before March 18.