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Mallya Mails Show UPA Era Secretary May Have Helped Kingfisher Get Loans

New Delhi: A second set of documents accessed by CNN-New18 suggest, based on claims made in them by business tycoon Vijay Mallya, that a joint secretary in the finance ministry in UPA-II had aided the ailing Kingfisher Airlines to get loans from several banks that it may have otherwise been denied.

Letters and emails exchanged between the two show how secretary Amitabh Verma set up meetings for Mallya with the chairpersons of various banks and get access to information that might have helped it get loans.

Sources in the CBI said the agency is “looking into the larger conspiracy of this scam.”

“We will look into the role of bureaucrats and politicians… We will also investigate why politicians and bureaucrats breached their briefs and what kind of favour they got (if any). Soon we will examine these big names,” a source told CNN-News18.

Sources close to Verma quoted him as saying that it was his job to arrange the meetings.

The second expose in the Mallya Mails comes a week after CNN-News18 broke the story on how the office of former prime minister helped arrange more bank funds for KFA when the airline was already struggling to pay back borrowed money.

Here’s a look at the exchange of messages between Verma and Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines:

Appointment With SBI MD

From: A Raghunathan, CFO, Kingfisher Airlines
Date: April 23, 2009

Dear Mr. Verma,

Further to our telecon this morning and as advised by you, I have sent an email to the CMD of PNB and a letter to the chairman of SBI. I am seeking an appointment with the MD of SBI for tomorrow.
Thank you for all your kind assistance.

Union Bank of India Letter

From: Raghunathan, CFO, Kingfisher Airlines
To: Vijay Mallya
Date: November 2, 2009

As per your advice I had discussed this matter with Mr. Amitabh Verma & I have again as requested by Mr. Verma sent him a detailed note on the A340 PDP problem.

KFA CFO to SBI Chairman

From: A Raghunathan, CFO, Kingfisher Airlines
To: the Chairman, SBI

Date: April 23, 2009

We had requested for an immediate disbursement of an adhoc amount of Rs 500 crores pending approval of our credit limits by the bank.
We would request your kind indulgence and seek your consideration to help us in this critical juncture by releasing the adhoc amounts as requested by us.

On The SBI Meet

From: AKRN (Ravi Nedungadi)
To: Vijay Mallya
Date: March 26, 2009

Amitabh called me to ask how the SBI meeting went. I emphasized the urgency and Amitabh said that he had spoken to Mr Bhat and that this ad hoc disbursement would happen. As regards PNB, Amitabh said that we should submit the same proposal to them and only hint that we have submitted to SBI.

PNB Release of Rs 150 crore

From: A Raghunathan, CFO, Kingfisher Airlines
To: Vijay Mallya

Dear Sir,
Thanks to Amitabh Verma assistance we have managed to get PNB agree to release Rs 150 crores.
I have already sent an SMS thanking him for all his help.

The OBC Application

From: VJM
To: Raghunathan, A KFA/BOM
Date: January 12, 2009

Subject: Ratnakar Hedge

At the Kingfisher Calender launch yesterday, Amitabh Verma brought Ratnakar to me and said that he has told him (OBC) to give KFA Rs 200 crores.
I told him that, OBC wanted to reduce exposure to aviation.
Amitabh repeated (in Ratnakar’s presence) that we should talk to him and put in an application for Rs 200 crores which would get approved.

Please put in the application urgently.

Planning The Meeting

From: Raghunathan, A KFA/BOM
To: Vijay Mallya
Date: March 5, 2009

Subject: Meeting with Mr. Amitabh Verma

1. Our proposal seeking credit limits/facilities for Rs 2000 crores, AV confirmed that he has already spoken to three of the bank chairman namely, SBI, BoB and BOI. Mr. O.P. Bhat, CMD of SBI has already informed him about the proposed meeting which SBI wants with the other three banks. However I have requested AV that we should have this meeting after he has spoken to the CMD of PNB.

2. Regarding our request for release of funds, he is of the opinion that the bankers meeting should take place first. Then only we should look at asking for interim release of funds.

3. He also enquired whether we have contacted OBC after the last meeting you had with the CMD of OBC along with AV. I explained to him that I have been talking to Mr. Ratnakar Hegde — ED of OBC and I have informed AV that according to Mr. Hegde a call from AV to the CMD of OBC would help the matter progress. He assured me that he will speak to the CMD of OBC in the next two days.

UCO Bank U-turn

From: Raghunathan, A KFA/BOM
Dated: November 20, 2009
To: Vijay Mallya
Subject: UCO bank

Dear sir,

As apprehended by you UCO bank did a u-turn… UCO bank will not be in position to disburse the funds… I spoke to Mr (Amitabh) Verma while he was at the Patna airport and he suggested the following course:

– Since UCO is taking a stand that they will not disburse… We should approach SREI for additional funds of Rs 100 crores so that we can settle the Union Bank issue and thereby we can avail the UCO funds of Rs 300 crores and as well pay back to SREI Rs 100 crores out of this UCO funds and Rs 100 crores out of Union Bank.

Kindly let me know whether we should follow Mr Verma’s advise.

Mr Verma has asked me to contact him… since he is trying to persuade UCO bank to act on the SBI letter which gives the confirmation that SBI is treating our accounts as standard.

From: Raghunathan, A KFA/BOM
To: Vijay Mallya
Date: August 14, 2009

Dear sir,

… I could managed (sic) to speak to Mr Amitabh Verma… He called me from the Delhi International Airport where he was taking his flight to us…

… AV (Amitabh Verma) has assured me that he will speak to both SKB and OPB (O P Bhatt of State Bank of India) and ensure that SBI will release the additional Rs 400 crores and the TOD of Rs 125 crores could be adjusted out of the additional funds.

…when I repeated my concern about the account becoming NPA… He assured me that he will definitely sort out this problem

…Regarding United Bank he assured that they will release the Rs 100 crores immediately on our settling our PDP dues. (Sir infact United Bank has already given us the sanctioned (sic) letter for additional Rs 100 crores…)

…AV (Amitabh Verma) confirmed firm committment from UCO for Rs 300 crores

…AV (Amitabh Verma) advised me to meet Mr Ratnakar Hegde and Mr Sinha of OBC