State Bank has written to aviation regulator DGCA expressing concern over the grounded Paramount Airways’ plans to re-launch the carrier, saying it has been in default for long.

“Yes, we have written to the Director-General of Civil Aviation expressing our concern, as the company has been in default for long. We informed them of the arrears that the airline promoters owe us and other banks,” State Bank Of India Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri told PTI.

“They have defaulted on around Rs 100-crore loan we have extended to them (since late 2008). Currently, we are in the recovery process,” he said.

Paramount owes around Rs 450 crore to an SBI-led consortium of banks which includes Bank of India, Central Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank and Andhra Bank.

However, when contacted, M Thiagarajan, Promoter and Managing Director of Paramount Airways said he had cleared the dues to SBI on May 22, 2013, except for some penal interest which he is trying to get waived.

He even said he had received a no-dues certificate from the SBI in this regard.

But, when contacted, SBI denied any such payment and clarified that the said no-dues certificate was issued by the Sengapadai branch in rural Tamil Nadu against the company’s current account, and it has nothing to do with defaulted loan.

“The company owes us Rs 85 crore in principal and there is also unapplied interest, which comes to around Rs 100 crore.” SBI Deputy Managing Director for stressed assets management Soundara Kumar said.

“SBI has obtained a restraint order from the Madras High Court against renewal of Paramount’s flying permit by the DGCA. The matter is still in court. The company owes us money. If the flying permit is being sought on the basis of this above mentioned letter, then it is improper and is misrepresentation of facts,” she said

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