Mallya's cheque

Vol 14, PW 21 (21 Apr 11) News in Brief

He owns Bangalore-based IPL cricket team Royal Challengers but MP and liquor baron Vijay Mallya still can’t raise enough money to pay for jet fuel used by his beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines.

PETROWATCH learns a $44.5m cheque (Receipt Number: 10001386RU13010 drawn on Mumbai-based Axis Bank) issued by Mallya on March 31 towards an outstanding bill of $129m with Hindustan Petroleum has bounced! HPCL sources tell us Mallya exceeded his credit limit of $65.3m long ago but that HPCL continues to supply jet fuel to his airline on credit. Last March the oil ministry directed HPCL to stop supplying fuel to Kingfisher on credit and only against cash.

But HPCL insiders tell us of a company “nexus” that continues to supply fuel to Kingfisher on credit in defiance of the ministry order. HPCL is not the only state-owned company suffering the Mallya cash-crunch.

The Formula 1 ‘Force India’ team owner also has an outstanding bill of $58m with Bharat Petroleum, which he is contesting.