Press Trust of india

Technical loan write-off route should not be applied for fugitives: Chidambaram to govt

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday asked the government why it had taken the technical loan write-off route for fugitives like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya.

His remarks came after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that wilful defaulters were beneficiaries of ‘phone banking’ under the UPA regime and the Modi government is chasing them to recover the dues.

She was responding to the opposition party’s allegations of loan waiver worth Rs 68,607 crore in the form of write-offs to the top 50 wilful defaulters during the first half of the financial year ended March 2020.

Chidambaram said one cannot deny the rule that banks can write-off loans technically and recoveries can continue against wilful defaulters, but why was the rule applied to fugitives, who fled the country, after committing frauds.

“One is not denying such a rule that can be applied to a wilful defaulter. But, we are asking these are fugitives and they have left the country and are absconding. Why are you applying this rule to Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya,” he said at press conference conducted through video conferencing.

The former finance minister said “when they are fugitives, the technical rule in the book should not be applied to them. That is my view”.

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