Indian bankers who are owed around Rs 9,000 crore by former liquor baron Vijay Mallya are ready to settle for a lesser amount if the central government assures them that they will not face any action by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Central Vigilance Commission or the Central Bureau of Investigation, reported The Times of India. "Given the high-profile nature of the case, it is difficult if we opt for a settlement below the Rs 9,000 crore that we have been demanding. But if the government provides protection, we can look at a deal," a senior bank executive told the English daily.

Mallya had offered to pay Rs 4,000 crore against the Rs 9,000 crore he has taken from 17 banks in India for his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines. The dues have increased owing to the interest accumulated. However, the consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India had rejected Mallya's offer in April.

On May 13, the bankers had taken possession of the Rs 90-crore Kingfisher villa in Goa. Mallya left the country on March 2 after stepping down as head of United Spirits. He has said he has no plans to return and claims he is on a "forced exile". The Ministry of External Affairs had revoked Mallya's passport last month, and will reportedly begin the process of extraditing him, after the United Kingdom refused to deport him.