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Effort is not to restart Kingfisher but to realise securities: Pratip Choudhuri

PTI
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“So far our approach was to try and help the airline to revive itself. But somehow company has not shown enough energy. So, this time the effort is not to restart but to realise securities,” says Pratip Choudhuri
“So far our approach was to try and help the airline to revive itself. But somehow company has not shown enough energy. So, this time the effort is not to restart but to realise securities,” says Pratip Choudhuri

Stating that banks’ efforts are now towards recovering full amount of loans from Kingfisher and not reviving the airline, SBI today said it should be able to regain a good part of its Rs 1,700 crore dues.

“Of the total dues of Rs 7,000 crore... so far, the approach was to revive (the airline). But now we decided to realise the securities (provided by the airline). Our endeavour is to recover the full amount,” Pratip Choudhuri, Chairman, SBI said here.

State Bank of India’s exposure to Kingfisher Airlines is Rs 1,700 crore.

Choudhuri said that lenders “do not expect more provisioning” for the Kingfisher account.

Noting that recovery of dues would be after completing a “complicated, long, legal battle”, he said the bank has made provisions to collect Rs 1,650 crore of the Rs 1,700 crore through realisation of securities.

“The entire consortium of banks has decided to recall the advance. This means sending a notice to the company, saying you please pay back. Based on assets we hold, we should be able to realise a good part of our dues (from Kingfisher Airline).

“It will be a little bit of complicated, long and protracted legal battle unless the company says let us get done with this and let us come to the table for a quick settlement,” he added.

He said the consortium members have formed a ‘core group’ committee for this purpose of recovering loans and it meets regularly every weekend.

“So far our approach was to try and help the airline to revive itself. So that it flies again. But somehow company has not shown enough energy or result on the ground. So, this time the effort is not to restart but to realise securities,” he said.

Kingfisher lenders on February 12 decided to start the process of recovering Rs 7,500 crore outstanding loans from the grounded airline, saying the company had failed to come up with any specific revival plan.

Kingfisher has been grounded since October 1 last after a labour unrest due to non-payment of salaries which have not been paid since last May.

The airline is sitting on a debt of over Rs 7,500 crore in banks loans, and over 10,000 crore in accumulated losses and unpaid salaries, taxes, and vendor dues.

Choudhuri said the banking industry looks ‘promising’ for the 2013-14 period.

(This article was published on February 18, 2013)
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