NEW DELHI: Amid outrage over the liquor baron Vijay Mallya fleeing the country, the government today said nobody will be spared and full force of law will be applied against wilful defaulters.
"As far as wilful defaulters are concerned we have taken very swift action...nobody will be spared. The full force of law will be applied against wilful defaulters," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said during his intervention on the Budget debate in the Lok Sabha.
The Minister further said out of 7,686 wilful defaulters who owe Rs 66,190 crore to public sector banks, suits have been filed in 6,816 cases and FIR has been lodged 1669 cases.
Banks have initiated action under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (Sarfaesi) Act in 584 such cases, he said.
During the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters that banks should have acted earlier to stop Mallya from going abroad.
Liquor baron Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for alleged loan defaults of Rs 9,000 crore by his group, left the country on March 2, even as banks have approached the courts to seek orders restraining him from going abroad. Opposition leaders including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi have raised questions about how he was allowed to leave the country despite a 'lookout' notice by CBI.
Sinha said as much as Rs 8 lakh crore is stressed assets in the entire banking system and the government in coordination with RBI is taking policy measures to deal with the problem which can be attributed to "policy paralysis and crony capitalism of the previous government".
Responding to the criticism of Budget, Sinha said several budgets have "come and gone" but the one unveiled by Jaitley on February 29 was a "superhit Budget," which try to create a balance between the needs increasing public spending and fiscal prudence.