UB City ‘auctioned’ to pay farm loans

The farmers claimed that auction of towers and commercial areas owned by Vijay Mallya would raise more than Rs. 1,378 crore, in Bengaluru on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Bengaluru: Scores of farmers barged into the premises of UB City on Wednesday and conducted a mock ‘auction’ to raise money to nullify crop loans taken by drought-affected farmers.

Over 70 members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sanga and Karnataka Janashakti contended that the sale of individuals towers and commercial areas of the city’s most expensive properties — owned by controversial businessman Vijay Mallya — would raise more than Rs. 1,378 crore. This, they claimed, could erase crop loans in Kolar, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Kodagu districts.

“We chose UB City as it has become a symbol of corporate loot and non-performing assets in banks. There is a stark difference in the treatment of governments and nationalised banks of large corporate loans (given to Mr. Mallya) and the pressure on crop loans taken by farmers,” said Vasu H.V., State Executive Committee, Karnataka Janashakti.

While State Bank of India had recently written off Rs. 1,200 crore in loans taken by Kingfisher Airlines, Mr. Mallya is wanted for being a wilful defaulter for unpaid loans of Rs. 6,000 crore.

“For a farmer, the bank attaches the crop immediately, sends several notices and forces them to make the rounds of courts. However, apart from mere words, there has been no action to recover loans from Mr. Mallya,” said one of the protesters.

The impromptu protest, which was taken out without permission, led to the detention of 25 leaders. Another 55 farmers had been stopped at the city railway station in anticipation of a protest.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 7:40:07 AM |

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