Indian banks have recovered Rs 13,109 crore from selling assets of fugitive businessmen like Nirav Modi and Vijaya Mallya, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Lok Sabha on Monday.
“The latest recovery was Rs 792 crore from the sale of assets belonging to Vijay Mallya and others on July 16, 2021,” she said. “Public sector banks together have effected a recovery of about Rs 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.”
Modi is accused of duping the Punjab National Bank of more than Rs 13,000 crore, and Mallya owes Rs 9,000 crore to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India in a fraud case involving the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
On Monday, Sitharaman revealed the recovered amount from the fugitive businessmen while discussing the second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants.
This year, two batches of Supplementary Demands of Grants have been presented to the government over an approved budget of Rs 34.83 lakh crore for the current financial year.
The Supplementary Demands for Grants will enable the government to spend an additional Rs 3.73 lakh crore during the current financial year. It will include an infusion of Rs 62,000 crore into the company that holds residual assets and liabilities of Air India.
Among other things, Rs 58,430 crore will be spent on fertiliser subsidy, Rs 53,123 crore will be used in paying pending export incentives and Rs 22,039 crore will be given to the rural development ministry’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Fund.
“We have to ensure that the farmers don’t suffer because of the rise in global prices,” Sitharaman said. “And therefore, [an] increase in the subsidy for fertiliser has been provided, which itself is accounting for Rs 58,431 crore.”
The Department of Food and Public Distribution will get Rs 49,805 crore for meeting expenditure of schemes to improve food storage and warehousing , and Rs 2,400 crore will be allocated to the Department of Commerce for spending on subsidies.
Meanwhile, the members of the Opposition in Lok Sabha asked the finance minister about the measures the government was taking to reduce prices of edible oil and other essential commodities.
“We are taking measures through the empowered group of ministers for taking care of essential goods,” Sitharaman said. “We will attend to the problem of edible oil price and also some of the essential edible items.”