Not all loan defaulters are thieves: Gadkari

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) As Indian agencies step up efforts to bring industrialist Vijay Mallya back to the country and recover much of the Rs.9,000 crore his companies allegedly owe banks, a key member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi cabinet cautions that every defaulter mustn’t be labelled a defaulter.

“Judicial proceedings are going on about the default of Vijaya Mallaya. Steps will be taken on whatever will be right,” said Road Transport, Highway and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari in an interview to ETV News Network, the transcript of which was provided by the channel.

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“Earlier, his companies were giving interest to banks regularly. At that time, people were rating him good. Consultants were considered good, their managers were considered good. When one company faced difficulty, then all are termed as thief,” he said.

“Government is taking action as per law.”

Giving a macro picture, Gadkari said, when there was an overall global slowdown, especially in the Chinese economy, a host of industries have not been performing well in India. But the government’s intervensions have helped areas such as infrastructure, steel and cement industries.

“We are also accepting that everything is not in good position. But we are trying to improve the situation. Banks’ positions are also not in good terms. But we cannot term every defaulter as thief. We have to see if default is bonafide mistake or malafide mistake,” he said.

“Overall, we have to take a positive, development-oriented approach. We should help the bonafide defaulters. Actions should be taken against malafide defaulters.”

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