New twist, house plan of Goa Kingfisher villa goes missing from two places

By: | Updated: June 29, 2016 7:01 AM

It’s a new twist to the saga of Kingfisher Villa in Goa, which a consortium of lenders led by State Bank of India has been trying to take over, reports Shayan Ghosh in Mumbai. Now the house plan has gone missing from both offices in Candolim and Panaji where it should have been safely kept, sources told FE.

kingfisher airlinesKingfisher Villa, owned by United Breweries Holdings, was mortgaged as collateral for loans given to Kingfisher Airlines. (Reuters)

It’s a new twist to the saga of Kingfisher Villa in Goa, which a consortium of lenders led by State Bank of India has been trying to take over, reports Shayan Ghosh in Mumbai. Now the house plan has gone missing from both offices in Candolim and Panaji where it should have been safely kept, sources told FE.

They explained that the plan document is not part of the mortgage document submitted by Kingfisher Airlines to lenders as part of the collateral. “In Goa, the village panchayat sanctions building plans and these are kept with it and also the town planning department. Surprisingly, it’s missing from both offices,” he said.

Without the plan document, it could be difficult determine how much the villa is worth; the property was earlier valued by lenders at around R40 crore. Sources said lawyers working for the lenders’ consortium have not been able to trace the building plan either at the village panchayat in Candolim nor at the town and country planning department in Panaji.

“Lenders have hired a surveyor to make a fresh plan of the villa,” a source said.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation has set up a special team to fast-track the investigation into Kingfisher Airlines. Kingfisher Villa, owned by United Breweries Holdings, was mortgaged as collateral for loans given to Kingfisher Airlines.

Kingfisher Airlines, which has not flown since October 2012, owes around `9,000 crore to a consortium of 17 bankers who have been trying to recover their money partly by selling securities pledged with them. These include real estate and shares in multiple group entities.

The case highlights problems faced by public sector banks in recovering money from defaulters. Bankers say the legal process is a long and tedious one, adding that promoters often resort to delaying tactics approaching one court after another. At present, regulations to dispose of an asset require state-owned banks to set a reserve price and call an auction.

If the first auction is not successful, a new reserve price must be fixed and a second auction called before a bilateral negotiation can begin. The problem, as bankers have pointed out, is that the process takes a long time, often defeating the purpose.

The legal process has been virtually ineffective in helping banks and have only frustrated their efforts. Finance ministry data show that loans worth close to `4.5 lakh crore were pending at debt recovery tribunals till December 2016, up from `4 lakh crore in FY15.

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