Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said it was unfair to call businessman Vijay Mallya a chor just because he couldn't repay the loan once. He added Mallya had been repaying the loan for 40 years.
Earlier this week, a UK court ruled in Mallya's extradition favor. The businessman is accused of loan fraud to the tune of Rs. 9,000 crore.
What he said
Gadkari calls for changing mindset
Gadkari made the remarks at an event organized by the Times Group. He said, "For 40 years Mallya was regularly paying interest on loans. After entering the aviation sector, he started facing problems, and suddenly he became a thief?"
He opined that the mindset which labels a person as a fraud after he couldn't pay loan once is wrong and has to change.
Gadkari says losses and profits are part of all businesses
Further, Gadkari said the loan which Mallya paid on time was the one he took from Maharashtra government-owned entity SICOM.
He went on to say profits and losses are integral to businesses.
"If the mistakes are bona fide, because of global or internal factors in the economy like a recession, then that person who is facing difficulties must be given support," he added.
"Economy will not progress if we label everyone as defaulter"
Gadkari went on to say he lost an election when he was 24, but that didn't mean his political career was over.
"If Nirav Modi or Vijay Mallyaji has committed (financial) fraud then send them to jail, but whoever comes in distress, and if we label them as fraudster then our economy won't progress," he said.
He added our banks don't support 'sick businesses'.
Gadkari has been advocating a more realistic approach towards NPAs
Notably, Gadkari has been calling for a more realistic approach towards NPAs. He said, "When someone is serious then we put him/her in an ICU, but our banking system first puts a sick company in the ICU and then ensures that it dies."